Facebook's anti-Google efforts get muddier

As PR agency Burson-Marsteller scrambles to explain its action, more PR missteps occur.

Earlier this week reports surfaced that Facebook had hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to run a "smear campaign" against Google. Since then the bad news has been confirmed via statements from both Facebook and

Apparently Burson-Marsteller can't get enough bad press, as it was caught removing criticism about the debacle from its Facebook page.

Wired was able to snag a screenshot of a comment criticizing the firm before it was removed.

The post read, "Since no one from your organization is sharing this information, I will kindly pass along to all your Facebook fans. Pretty poor press release explaining your actions too."

The Facebook user then provided a link to a Daily Beast story about the firm being hired by Facebook to run the campaign.

Wired was able to confirm the firm removed the post from its page. A representative from the PR firm told Wired "That was wrong," to remove the post. The rep said the company would reach out to the user and invite her to repost her comment.

Facebook did issue a statement on Thursday that "No 'smear' campaign was authorized or intended" but the full statement, if posted somewhere on Facebook's site, is well hidden.

The sad thing is that Burson-Marsteller claims to have a "long tradition" in "corporate reputation, crisis and digital arenas."

Sounds to me like they could use some consulting to help manage their own corporate reputation after this crisis in the digital arena.

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Paul Suarez

PC World (US online)
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