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07.05.08

Microsoft Poisons the World Wide Web with Fake Marketing Blogs

Posted in Deception, FUD at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nothing new, except for more of them

I

t is rather amazing that some people are still shocked to discover Microsoft is doing this. First and foremost, Microsoft is a marketing company; the same goes for Apple. Microsoft executives openly admit that Microsoft buys products rather than develop products.

Frankly, this is old news, but it’s always nice to find some new stories and fresh evidence, if only just to show that it’s not history — to show that Microsoft never rectified and cleaned up its act.

“This practice was officially made illegal in Europe just a few weeks ago.”A month ago, Penguin Pete sarcastically argued that Microsoft has begun hiring AstroTurfers directly. There was an element of truth in that exaggeration. Some months ago we also saw Microsoft trashing YouTube to advertise OOXML (deception, of course), as well as other proprietary software products. To Microsoft, it’s a normal routine.

We have alreadt assembled a large set of examples (some very recent one too) where Microsoft AstroTurfers are caught and payments are offered by Microsoft to bloggers in exchange for positive publicity (without any disclosure, surely). There are also the more sophisticated types. You know, the type that calls itself "expert" or "analyst".

This is just appalling, unless you’re in the grey or black marketing business, in which case you’ll perfume your unethical behaviour. This practice was officially made illegal in Europe just a few weeks ago.

Anyway, that’s Microsoft for you. We gave some more examples in recent months and with the latest Vista promotion campaign, there is certainly much more to come, so suspecting eyeballs are needed.

Microsoft loves acting innocent and naive whenever faced with the accusation that it’s unethical. Whatever it touches it seems to destroy, such as standards bodies, open source, and even confidence in bloggers.

Microsoft shamelessly litters the Web with fake marketing blogs ands false testimonies. This is nothing new, but evidence shows that it still goes on. As usual, Microsoft does all of this by proxy. The latest proxy is called the McCann Worldgroup. Have a look:

Microsoft gets hip with da yoof to flog email

What could be more insincere than a bunch of marketing types concocting a fake blog to pimp their company’s services by hitching them to worthy causes?

This could – getting a bunch of marketing people who specialize in nothing but pimping other people’s products and services to do it for you. And then targeting kids and teens.

Microsoft has hired McCann Worldgroup to create a campaign driving uptake of its IM and email by affiliating with ten charitable organizations.

Add another one to the list: Microsoft also ruins the reputation of charities. Remember the OOXML fiasco that involved charities in India?

Remember this one (related context here)?

Then in 2002, Microsoft’s Web site featured a testimonial called “Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert,” a first-person account by an attractive brunette “freelance writer” about how she had fallen in love with Windows XP.

Unfortunately, a Slashdot member discovered that the identical photo was available for rent from the stock-photo libraries of GettyImages.com. Sure enough: Microsoft had hired a PR firm to write the testimonial. The “switcher” did not actually exist.

Remember: Microsoft. A marketing company. Marketing is lies and embellishments. It’s a Big Lie, a farce.

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2 Comments

  1. Felipe Alvarez said,

    October 20, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Gravatar

    >Marketing is lies and embellishments. It’s a Big Lie, a farce.
    As a general statement, this isn’t true. This is framed to be a overgeneralisation of marketing as a whole.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 21, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Gravatar

    I was never too keen on marketing. Maybe I should have written “guerrilla marketing,” of which Microsoft does plenty.

    Here is an old video of Microsoft’s CEO.

    And here is a new ad.

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