Redmond is once again wiping egg from its face after it was revealed that the woman featured in Microsoft's recent "Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert" ad was a model hired by Microsoft's PR companies.
The ad campaign, which appeared on the Microsoft Web site just after Apple launched its Switch (from PC to Mac) campaign, showed a young female "freelance writer" claiming that after eight years of using a Mac she had finally "seen the light" and switched to Windows XP.
An eagle-eyed reporter from Associated Press discovered the Microsoft ad was a fake and the woman no more a freelance writer than she was a brain surgeon. The reporter discovered that the testimonial was a piece of fiction written by Velerie Mallinson, an employee of Wes Rataushk & Associates, one of Microsoft's PR agencies assigned to match Apple's Switchers campaign.
Refusing to admit defeat, a Microsoft spokeswoman asserted that Ms Mallinson was indeed "an actual customer" (as most of us are I suppose) but nevertheless thought it wise to pull the ad off the Web. While the spokeswoman said the employee had definitely switched from a Mac to Windows, she did not know when the employee had "made the switch". Microsoft also conceded that not only was the lady pictured in the ad not the "employee" who'd made "the change", but that the employee was not a freelance writer. Who'd have guessed?