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It must be hard for Nokia. Once the market leader in the mobile phone market, the company has struggled to keep pace with Apple’s iPhone dominance and even with Samsung, which uses the same operating platform. But all the sympathy in the world does not make up for the plain truth: Nokia lied.

In YouTube advertisements touting the clarity and resolution of the camera in its newly introduced Lumia phone, the pictures and images were truly beautiful. They also were taken by a professional, using a hand-held video camera, with the image lit by a high-performance lighting rig. Instead of noting that discrepancy in the fine print, Nokia strongly implied that its phone’s camera capabilities were comparable to those of a professional camera.

Once viewers began complaining, the true extent of the lie became clear. In addition to the misleading online spots, print ads showing images on the Lumina phone were professionally taken photographs from a traditional, high-end camera.

Observers suggest the subterfuge is evidence of just how worried Nokia is. The iPhone 5 is about to hit shelves, and Samsung’s newest introduction promises superior Windows 8 functionality. In its race to prove that its innovation and production departments were better than those of its competitors, Nokia instead showed that its ethics department might need some more work.

Source: John D. Stoll and Sven Grundberg, “Nokia Again Apologizes Over Ads for Phone,” The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2012.