Is it “All Fair” in Google & Facebook’s War?
The big difference in modus-operandi are, that, Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook Inc; whereas Google is a search engine for any information. On prima-facie, there shouldn’t be any competition, as the businesses are different. But, it’s definitely not the case.
According to a report, Facebook used a PR Firm to deliberately daub Google’s image on the ground of privacy issues. This news has raised many eyebrows. The competition in the social space, between the two behemoths have taken a new turn. Dan Lyon of the The Daily Beast informed that Facebook hired a public relation firm named Burson-Marsteller to smudge Google’s face. According to Lyon, it seemed that someone had hired Burson-Marsteller, a top PR firm, to promote anti – Google stories. However, this has come as a surprise to many as Facebook has faced criticism from various sects for not being providing enough privacy and security to its members.
Companies usually employ PR firms to handle their campaigns. But here it’s seen that the campaign is being used to put Google’s image down. USA Today reports the news about accusing the PR Company for conducting a whisper campaign for an unknown client. Google developed a social network called “Social Circle” to compete with Facebook, which, according to Dan Lyons - lets people with Gmail accounts see information not only about their friends but also about the friends of their friends, which Google calls ‘secondary connections’.
According to Burson-Marsteller’s statement: Now that Facebook has come forward, we can confirm that we undertook an assignment for that client.
The client requested that its name be withheld on the grounds that it was merely asking to bring publicly available information to light and such information could then be independently and easily replicated by any media. Any information brought to media attention raised fair questions, was in the public domain, and was in any event for the media to verify through independent sources.
Whatever the rationale, this was not at all standard operating procedure and is against our policies, and the assignment on those terms should have been declined. When talking to the media, we need to adhere to strict standards of transparency about clients, and this incident underscores the absolute importance of that principle.
It’s now, out in the open, that Facebook can’t deny that they had hired the PR firm to stain Google’s image. Being rivals, they have often been at war. But isn’t this too much? Facebook should realize that defacing another company will not help it to raise its own reputation. Facebook says, that, they were suspicious that Google was using their user’s privacy and data for its own service. This is an undefined answer. Whatever, suspicion Facebook may have, hiring a PR firm is not a solution. The fact here is, that, Facebook doesn’t want the Google Social Circles, to attract people to their site and make new connections. Facebook has been using a flimsy and low excuse just to get even with its competitor; because nowhere does Google violate any personal information or right of privacy. The social network was well known for its courage and inventive ideas, but now it turns out to be nothing more than milksop.
This incident has raised even bigger issues and questions as to how PR firms work and handle such affairs? Do these firms have a glitch in their working or do they work with clarity and perception?
Let’s just say – There’s a bit of cheating in probably all the wars!