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Posts Tagged ‘Frank X. Shaw’

Microsoft ‘Comms Guy’ Challenges Google Rep to a Twitter Duel

Frank X. Shaw is Microsoft’s “top comms guy”. He doesn’t think too much of rival Google’s attempts to go highbrow in the PR sphere—and he let thousands of people know about it on Twitter this weekend.

Let’s unravel the roots of this little playground mud fight between two of the biggest PR pros in the business: Microsoft, still desperate to sponsor the Bing vs. Google fight that no one in the world asked for, just hired much-hated political operative Mark Penn as its top messaging man. You may remember Penn as the guy behind Hillary Clinton’s infamous 2008 “3 AM” ad implying that then-Senator Barack Obama was too inexperienced to run the country.

The New York Times ran a story on the hire, casting Mr. Penn as a negative messenger who would help Microsoft attack Google with “scorched earth” spots like this one that criticizes the company for ruining users’ search experiences by clogging results with sponsored ads. The article notes that Microsoft has “long attacked Google from the shadows” but now looks to take the fight to prime-time. A former colleague of Mr. Penn’s warned that Google should prepare to have “everything…thrown at them”—including the kitchen sink.

Sounds like a run-of-the-mill corporate PR battle, right? Well, the Times also contacted top Google spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker for comment. She said that, while Google employs lobbyists and PR firms just like its rivals, “…our focus is on Google and the positive impact our industry has on society, not the competition.”

Of course Frank Shaw did not like this one bit.

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Microsoft Spokesman Mocks Financial Times on ‘Bad Reporting’

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Frank X. Shaw, the longtime leader of the Microsoft account at Waggener Edstrom, who left the agency last year to work internally at Microsoft, employed his Twitter account to get back at what he called “bad reporting” this weekend from the Financial Times.

The newspaper reported over the weekend that Google will no longer use Microsoft Windows. Google cited security concerns as the reason, but as others have noted, the main reason is likely because Microsoft and Google are now competitors in many spaces, including operating systems.

Regardless, Shaw didn’t like the story. Here are his responses, via Twitter:

bad headline, wrong premise here. Google going google, okay, but free pass from FT on reason = bad reporting. http://chilp.it/1e421d

News flash: Google bans Bing from its computers. Must credit FT. Picture on Bing home page is distracting to G engineers.

News flash: Google bans ford cars using Sync from its parking lot, citing security issues. Must credit FT.

news flash: Google boards up all windows in its global HQ, citing security concerns. Must credit FT.

What do you think of Shaw’s tweets? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

RELATED: Waggener Edstrom Opens South Africa Office to Service Microsoft

Frank Shaw Leaves Waggener for Microsoft

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Frank X. Shaw, Waggener Edstrom’s top exec on the Microsoft account announced his departure today–for Microsoft. He will be VP of Corporate Communications, starting at the end of August, according to his Glass House blog post this morning. He’ll report to Mich Mathews, senior VP for Microsoft’s Central Marketing Group

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is Waggener’s biggest account, and Shaw has been a part of it from the beginning dating back at least as far as the Windows XP launch of 2001. His total tenure at WE is 14 years.

WE’s statement is amicable, and announces that Shaw’s duties will be handled by Pam Edstrom herself in the interim.

Shaw replaces Simon Sproule, who was only in the position for five months. Sproule returns to the auto business by joining Renault-Nissan Alliance in Paris. He was at Nissan prior to Microsoft.

WE’s statement on Shaw’s departure is after the jump:

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