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Rosemarie Ryan wasn’t quite sure what to think as she explained to Microsoft executives the rationale for positioning the company’s new site for Web searches as a “decision engine.” While navigating the shop’s January 2009 pitch for Bing, Ryan was bewildered by the quizzical glances Microsoft executives shot at each other. “I didn’t know whether it was concern or delight,” Ryan says of the reaction.
It turned out that the strategy and phrase presented by the president of JWT’s North American operations and her team at the WPP Group agency nearly matched what Microsoft had arrived at internally a few days earlier, prompting some of the client execs to fear that their research had been leaked.