As we've reported yesterday, Microsoft started a new campaign that offers compensation to bloggers who write about Internet Explorer, obviously in an attempt to make sure that more people hear about the new versions of the browser.Unfortunately for the Redmond-based tech giant, the invitation to write about IE in return for money was also sent to the wrong people, including Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder and owner of Uncrunched.com. Michael decided to post the email he received on the blog, which obviously quickly led to accusations that Microsoft was paying editors to praise its software.
In a statement sent to us a few minutes ago, Microsoft tries to suggest that the new campaign actually belongs to a “vendor” and the company doesn't directly pay bloggers to write about its apps. As a result, the campaign was quickly shut down, a Microsoft spokesperson told us.
“This action by a vendor is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media. The program has been suspended,” he said.
While it's pretty hard to believe that a so-called “vendor” could launch such campaigns without Microsoft's approval, there's no doubt that the company was fully prepared for such a scenario when its efforts to promote Internet Explorer with the help of bloggers would be made public.
The letter sent to a number of bloggers yesterday, however, explained that the campaign was actually launched by a company “on behalf of Microsoft.”
“I work as a social strategist on behalf of Microsoft, and I wanted to invite you to collaborate on a sponsored post opportunity for Internet Explorer. We love your aesthetic and blogging system, and think you'd be the perfect partner to spread the word on the new Internet Explorer browsing experience!” the message reads.
“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. Internet Explorer has teamed up with many partners in gaming, entertainment, and more, and we'd love to see you talk your opinions on these collaborations.”
As far as the compensation is concerned, there are no details as to how much money the company is ready to pay bloggers to talk about Internet Explorer, but given the fact that the campaign has already been shut down, so such details are very unlikely to be ever disclosed by someone involved in the program.