Microsoft Blasted for Milking Japan Disaster for Bing’s Publicity

(Original story at ITNews here.)

Donating to a country after a disaster is a good thing, right?

Somehow, Microsoft’s Bing search engine managed to screw this one up.

Or maybe it was done deliberately as part of a publicity stunt by Microsoft? After all, they are a multi-billion dollar company who can afford to hire a top-notch public relations team. Think they would screw up this one?

Also, consider that the tweets and retweets can only be seen by so many people. With this controversy, consumers who would otherwise not have heard or been reminded of Bing will know about it.

I leave you to decide.

(Update April 8, 2011: Here’s an article on why the snafu was most likely deliberate and part of a publicity stunt.)

Microsoft seeks retweets for $100k Japan quake donation

By Ry Crozier on Mar 14, 2011 10:51 AM

Tsunami marketing campaign leads to ‘apology’.

Microsoft has been forced to apologise after it appeared to seek marketing gain in return for making a donation to the victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

The company’s @Bing twitter account tweeted yesterday: “How you can #SupportJapan – For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K.”

The tweet was met with a mixed response from users of the popular microblogging site.

“So @bing will donate $1 per RT for #Japan… How about just donating the $100k limit and stop promoting off the back of suffering. #Pariahs,” replied Twitterer Chris Dowson.

But Bing seemed to get the publicity it wanted when the message was retweeted by the American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, resulting in a flurry of retweets.

Microsoft later clarified its position: “We apologise the tweet was negatively perceived. Intent was to provide an easy way for people to help Japan. We have donated $100K,” the company tweeted.

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the East Coast of Japan late Friday, generating a tsunami up to 10 metres high that washed away whole cities and towns.

The death toll was predicted to rise beyond 10,000 with many people still unaccounted for.

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Author: Nicholas

Experienced Mortgage Banker in the Denver metro area.

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