Burson-Marsteller’s excuse for attempting to pay journalists to bash Google? The flacks who did it were new, the company told PR Week, and will receive further training rather than summary termination. The two employees who ran the smear campaign were new to Burson and new to PR, The Daily Beast reports: Jim Goldman, former tech reporter for CNBC, and John Mercurio, a former political reporter. Really, Burson? You put the noobs on the Facebook account?
Burson’s mea culpa: “Whatever the rationale, this was not at all standard operating procedure and is against our policies, and the assignment on those terms should have been declined.”