“Microsoft has been sucked into the row surrounding a London-based media company currently under investigation by broadcasters for making editorial programmes without declaring it had a commercial relationship with some of those it featured,” Ian Burrell reports for The Independent.
“Both the BBC and the US-owned broadcaster CNBC are investigating FBC Media following an investigation by The Independent which showed it had made numerous factual programmes about Malaysia after being allocated millions of pounds by the country’s government to promote it,” Burrell reports. “This newspaper has evidence that Microsoft was “guaranteed” coverage on a flagship programme which FBC was commissioned to make for CNBC – which is screened in Britain – for a major launch that the global technology company was planning in Europe. CNBC recently suspended the show, World Business, pending the outcome of its investigation.”
“The Independent has seen a nine-page letter written to Microsoft’s senior communications managers, in which FBC promised coverage of its opening of the European Microsoft Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany, and a second project in St Petersburg, Russia,” Burrell reports. “The document referred to World Business under the heading ‘FBC Guaranteed Distribution Placement.'”
Burrell reports, “It told Microsoft: ‘Our flagship programme, World Business, is a weekly half-hour business news magazine, which covers the trends shaping business, particularly from a European perspective. We can foresee placing coverage of the Aachen opening within the programme the weekend of May 1&2, which means guaranteed placement on CNBC Europe, PBS-TV in the US, Star World Asia and 12 national broadcast markets in Western and Eastern Europe.’ PBS is America’s public service broadcaster and Star World is part of Rupert Murdoch’s global News Corp media empire… Last night CNBC said: ‘We have suspended all broadcasts of the World Business programme indefinitely. We cannot comment further for legal reasons.'”
“The FBC letter to Microsoft, dated 2 March 2004, is jointly authored by John Defterios, until recently FBC’s former Group Vice President for Content and host of CNBC’s World Business between 2000 and 2007,” Burrell reports. “He is now a presenter on the global news network CNN. The document is set out as a “proposal outlining the broadcast/production strategy” for Microsoft’s European initiatives, which included a good news story of Microsoft working with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Red Cross to provide technology for refugees.”
Many more sordid details in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Deceit is permanently ingrained within Microsoft’s DNA.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “justin time” for the heads up.]