Burson-Marsteller smear campaignagainst Google on behalf of Facebook, again brought about a never-ending dispute on a matter of PR ethics. But while some PRs admit the dark machinations of PR are a commonplace activity, and the others try to deny it, the overall sensation is that the swindle didn't shock that much the PR milieu because of the mere fact of it, but because of the most clumsiest way it could have been done.
The bold act of a blogger poured a cold water on PRs, reminding the simple fact that in the Internet-era the entire online activity is transparent and as soon as shared with a third person is out of control. Moreover, it confirms that nobody likes to be a pawn in the game, especially a dirty one, so that those who want to play it, should implement more tactful and legitimate methods of approaching particular people or organisations.
Now, when all sides of the argument: Facebook, Burson-Marsteller and to some extent Google, lick their wounds, the outcome of that unfortunate story is in fact to the advatage of public relations industry, which from now on will avoid any attempts of slandering, with an awareness that in the conditions of an omnipotent transparency it will simply not pay off.