In case you hadn’t heard the news, Facebook and Google are big time competitors. As two of the internet’s biggest competitors go head to head in the social networking game, there’s been some foul play. Facebook was recently busted by blogger Chris Soghoian for attempting an unethical smear campaign against Google Social Circle, a social network that Google attempted about 2 years ago that just never took off. It all started when a public relations firm that Facebook hired (allegedly to spread the word about Google’s so-called disregard for privacy) wrote an article for blogger Soghoian and then offered to pen his name to the article and promised exposure on several large news and PR sites. Soghoian, sensing something was up decided against offering up his name and instead published the emails between Facebook’s PR firm and himself online.
We’re wondering what this big time PR agency was thinking by asking Soghoian to do something like this. Soghoian is huge advocate for internet privacy and cyber security, so of course he would be interested in news that Google knew they were violating user privacy, but at the same time, Soghoian is all about following the rules- he is an ethical kind of guy who would verify the facts and know where the information came from! We can’t figure out why they thought someone like Chris Soghoian would want to publish an article he didn’t write, which didn’t contain accurate facts, on behalf of a PR firm, who wouldn’t even disclose who their client was!
So Burson Marsteller has officially pointed the finger at Facebook claiming that Facebook made them do it. We’re trying to figure out who exactly would believe them? Facebook, along with Google, is one of the most powerful companies in the world. Despite their competition with Google, Facebook could not have possibly conjured up the idea to release this story. The guys at Facebook know that you don’t really want to mess with Google. While they did hire Burson to represent them, we highly doubt they went in saying “Hey, go spread these lies about Google”.
The point being, you can’t beat the competition with black hat techniques. Google is a powerful company, who’s dealt with far larger issues than what Burson Marsteller claims as privacy issues. And now, we’re wondering where www.burson-marsteller.com will be showing up on a Google keyword search for PR firms.