The Two— headline in The Metro is delectable.

The people laughing about today’s front pages are probably Microsoft, Google and a few other big global PR agencies….perhaps also thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I”. Congratulations to the agencies (not mentioned) who declined the brief on the grounds it was a bit ‘whiffy’. This issue just makes agency B-M look amateur and naive.

Competitive depositioning is not new and neither will it go away. Social media has changed the rules though, and if you run a campaign like this you must remember you are playing with fire and you must be either very subtle and round on many companies, perhaps even including your client, or better still, be completely transparent. Most importantly you have to campaign the undeniable truth.

There are public affairs firms who have code named clients whereby no-one in the agency (other than the FD and CEO) knows who pays the bill. These campaigns clearly serve a purpose for someone, and hopefully are in the public’s interest. I am sure secret campaigns like this are declining in a world where so much is traceable.

I expect Google knew about this before any media cottoned on to it. Google knows everything. How interesting and what a PR result for Google to play the victim.

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