Oh, The Irony: Facebook Hired PR Firm To Spread Negative Stories About Google’s Privacy Problems

By Rachel Kaufman Comment

You have probably already heard by now that Facebook had hired renowned PR firm Burson-Marsteller to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers and blogs. The gist of the stories: Google’s new social products are an invasion of privacy. (Facebook has since admitted that Google’s use of Facebook data in its new social product is at least part of what’s bothering the social giant.)

Both PR reps assigned to the account were former reporters: Jim Goldman is a former CNBC tech reporter and John Mercurio was a former political reporter, so you think they would have known better.

Burson-Marsteller has issued a statement more or less throwing Facebook under the bus, saying that keeping the client’s name secret “was not at all standard operating procedure and is against our policies, and the assignment on those terms should have been declined.”

There will doubtless be other bus-throwings before this is done: someone at Facebook will blame a junior exec for having this idea and there will be a resignation. Someone at Burson-Marsteller will probably lose his job.

Quite honestly, we don’t know how anyone thought this was a good idea.

Especially when you think about the topic: Facebook is trying to talk about other companies’ privacy problems?

We attach as evidence a completely undoctored screenshot of an e-mail newsletter we got not ten minutes ago. Click to enlarge.

Nuff said.