Microsoft Wages Stealth Anti-Google Campaign
In Europe, Burson urged Internet companies to become signatories on an online petition for a more "transparent and competitive Internet," according to the pitches. It directed the companies to a Web site, www.i-comp.org, and provided user names and passwords to log in. The pitches cited a number of groups and an individual who had signed on to the effort. The pitches didn't disclose that Burson was working for Microsoft, Google's largest rival.
Burson execs say the firm was hired by Microsoft to set up i-comp.org as a "discussion forum" for issues of privacy and competition. A Google spokesman declined to comment on the campaign and said the DoubleClick deal is "positive for users and advertisers and fosters competition."