An agency commissioned by Microsoft has been offering to pay bloggers to produce pro-Internet Explorer content, it emerged, after one such pitch was accidentally sent to TechCrunch.
Advocate marketing firm SocialChorus sent TechCrunch's Paul Stamatiou an offer to pay for Internet Explorer coverage, the journalist said in a tweet. Founder Michael Arrington was also emailed. "In this program, we are looking to spread the word about the new Internet Explorer web experience in a cool, visual way, which is where you come in," the proposal read.
It's not exactly unusual for marketing companies to push a client's an agenda through a network of underpaid bloggers, but it is a little more unusual to approach a publication such as TechCrunch, particularly for a top tier customer. This is usually called an "unmitigated PR disaster." Microsoft has now distanced itself from the campaign, and put the blame squarely on SocialChorus. A spokesperson for the Redmond company said, according to Techspot: "action by a vendor is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media."