Panasonic explains stock photos oversight on S9 Japan website

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Panasonic Japan has spoken out about its use of a series of stock photos which were used to illustrate the functionality of its new Lumix S9 camera.

In an interview with Japanese media, the company described the oversight, which included the use of an image captured by a Nikon Ambassador, as a 'dated marketing mindset.'

Image: Panasonic
Panasonic's new S9. Image: Panasonic

Following the launch of the Lumix S9, X/Twitter user @zac_de_la_rocha posted a series of tweets (in Japanese) that detailed how the Japanese Lumix S9 product page featured a number of photos that weren’t captured with the new camera — including a photo of a dog running that was found on Shutterstock. 

Following the discovery, Panasonic Japan released a statement explaining the use of the imagery was to introduce and explain the S9’s functions and features, but acknowledged that while there was a note that some photos were not taken with the new product, the “content and location of the notice were difficult for customers to understand.”

The company later updated its website and labelled the images captured with other devices, before issuing a public apology.

“We apologise to all Lumix and camera fans for causing great concern. Again, [we’re] very sorry for causing you concern. All of us involved promise to be more sincere in our approach to you and to make changes,” the company wrote.

As far as we're aware, the use of stock photos appeared to be just isolated to the Japanese Lumix website, with the Lumix AU website using different product marketing material. 

In the last few days, a Panasonic spokesperson speaking to Japanese newspaper The Sankei Shimun blamed the oversight on a  'dated mindset.'

“More than 20 years ago, in a video camera advertisement, there was a technique of inserting images that were not the actual product, and we created the site with that mindset,” the spokesperson said.

Panasonic also said that the images will be updated over time and the company was taking steps to adjust its rules for marketing  to avoid the situation from happening again.

The use of stock images by technology manufacturers to illustrate their products' functionality is not new, with Huawei the most significant in recent years. 

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