Facebook admits anti-Google PR campaign

Facebook admits anti-Google PR campaign

Summary: The company has admitted to hiring a public-relations consultancy to expose supposed flaws in Google's privacy practices

TOPICS: IT Employment

Facebook has owned up to hiring a public-relations consultancy to expose supposed flaws in Google's privacy practices.

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Burson-Marsteller confirmed on Thursday it was hired to run a smear campaign in which major news outlets would be sent pitches highlighting potential privacy and legal issues involving Google's social-networking service, Social Circles. The feature enables users to view publicly available information of other users who are connected to their Google Chat and Contacts, and includes data such as Facebook accounts, Twitter feeds and personal websites.

Ryan Lim, business director of social-media marketing agency Blugrapes, said the latest development is unlikely to have any immediate impact on Facebook users or the advertising industry, as media plans are based on the ability to effectively reach consumers, rather than the media's credibility in the market. However, he noted that "such covert actions and smear approach" could be interpreted as the company's fear of its competitors, especially those that pose a serious threat.

On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the company had initiated the PR campaign.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Facebook admits running campaign against Google on ZDNet Asia.

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Topic: IT Employment


Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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  • Do not expect those who attended university where the senior management valued transparency, but did not practice it day to day (Like University of California Berkeley) to practice transparency. Want examples read on...
    University of California Berkeley (Cal) Chancellor’s huge mistakes: recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,000 tuition students that displace qualified Californians from public university; spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his & many vice chancellors jobs (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost); pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010; tuition to Return on Investment (ROI) drops below top 10; NCAA places basketball program on probation: absence institutional control
    We are sympathetic to the frustration of UC Chancellors running their campuses with declining support from the state. Cal. has been badly damaged by Birgeneau. Good people are loosing their jobs. Cal’s leadership is either incompetent or culpable. Merely cutting out inefficiencies does not have the effect desired.

    But you never want a crisis to go to waste. Increasing Cal’s budget is not enough; we believe the best course of action for UC is to honorably replace Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau