Digging up dirt on competitors is rarely a good move, and this was beautifully illustrated with reports today that Facebook hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to place negative stories about Google.
There are so many reasons that this was a bad idea. It casts Facebook in a pretty murky light, of course. It smacks of the playground (‘I’ll give you my pocket money if you tell tales’). And, frankly, it’s just a bit desperate. It shows that Facebook’s been riled by Google to the point where it’s prepared to spend significant amount of money (B-M’s not a cheap agency) to Google-bash. That not a great look for Facebook.
All it’ll achieve is for people to rake over the privacy and data sharing policies of both brands where, let’s face it, Facebook’s hardly whiter than white.
Leave the mud-slinging to politicians, and Burson Marsteller to the clients it has on speed dial.