MoMA Store, Revisited

January 31st, 2018

TV frame or frame TV?

At first glance, it’s not entirely clear which one the Museum of Modern Art aka MoMA is selling in this listing in its online store. Specifically, is it a frame for Samsung’s “The Frame” TV (geez, that’s not confusing) or the TV itself? Let’s take a closer look.

On the one hand, the item is priced at $249, which would be an unbelievable bargain for a 65-inch 4K UHD TV. You don’t even have to know what 4K or UHD stands for to know that it’s good.

On the other, maybe it’s on sale. After all, the listing features a video about the TV — which poses the metaphysical question, “Is it art or is it television?” (spoiler: it’s television) — and a detailed description of the TV that states in part:

The Frame TV is the most beautiful TV you’ve never seen. Using new technology, this 4K UHD TV looks like a picture frame hanging on a wall when ‘Art Mode’ is on. Instead of fading to black like a conventional TV, The Frame’s display transforms into a work of art, letting the users select from over 100 custom-designed digital art pieces. Your guests won’t know you have a TV on the wall.

But the reality is you won’t have a TV to put on the wall if you purchase this product because, lo and behold, the listing is for the TV frame, not The Frame TV.

Though the description notes that The Frame TV is, in fact, “sold separately,” a TINA.org reader said the language was only recently added after she purchased the frame thinking it was the TV and complained to MoMA.

You could say she felt … framed.

This is the second time TINA.org has alerted readers to potential deceptive advertising issues with MoMA’s online store. After the first time, the museum made changes to the online store’s marketing.

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