Friday, May 13, 2011

Facebook is allegedly red-faced after a dirty tricks campaign against Google.

The war between the two internet giants reportedly exploded into the open recently after it was revealed that Facebook had paid a leading public relations company to run a dirty tricks campaign against Google.

The social networking site admitted it hired global agency Burson-Marsteller to place negative stories about Google in newspapers, magazines and online.

Claims and counter-claims spread across the internet recently, and the rivalry between the two companies was fully revealed for all and sundry to see.

Burson- Marsteller, who is owned by British group WPP, said it regretted working for Facebook on those terms and had terminated its contract.

Facebook obviously sees Google as its biggest future threat. Google has reportedly built up a big team in recent months to develop rival social networking products.

The scandal came to light after a blogger published an email exchange showing how BM touted stories on behalf of an unnamed client about a Google service, known as Google Circles.

The PR company allegedly said it could help the blogger write opinion pieces criticising  Googles system. and then help it place the stories with the media, including the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post. Nothing was offered to the Kiwi Riverman Post, however.

The blogger who I won't name here, did not want to pursue the story, apparently describing it as "making a mountain out of a molehill". Probably a good decision. He did post the emails online.

The controversy continues. Google has declined comment and probably won't take legal action against those involved.

Acknowledgements: The Times

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