05.28.09

Microsoft Stole My Identity!

Microsoft introduced a new search engine today, the curiously named Bing. Longtime Fortune columnist Stanley Bing is not amused.

Today Microsoft announced it would be launching a new search engine that will compete with Yahoo and Google in the vast hunt for search bucks. In an incredible act of branding sagacity, they announced that the name of the new search engine will be: Bing.

In response to this, today I have issued the following news release:

BING VS. BING

LONGTIME FORTUNE COLUMNIST AND BESTSELLING AUTHOR STANLEY BING CONDEMNS “BRAND INTRUSION” BY NEW MICROSOFT SEARCH ENGINE, ALSO TO BE NAMED “BING”

OFFERS SERVICES TO NEW ENTITY FOR “ANY REASONABLE OFFER”

NEW YORK, MAY 28, 2009 – Stanley Bing, FORTUNE Magazine columnist and bestselling author, today expressed “moderate outrage” at the branding of the new search engine to be offered by Microsoft, also to be called Bing. At the same time, Bing the Author took the unusual step of offering an initial olive branch to Bing the Search Engine, proposing that the two powerful brands merge into one for which Mr. Bing could be the logo, corporate symbol and spokesman, to the extent that it fits in with his other duties.

For nearly 25 years, I have jealously guarded the value of my brand. For several years, it was threatened by the enormous reputation of Rudolf Bing, the fictional presence of Chandler Bing, and the high-profile persona of Stephen Bing.

“This is an unprecedented case of brand intrusion by one of the most powerful and wealthy corporations in the world,” said Bing the Author, as opposed to Bing the Search Engine, which, unlike Mr. Bing himself, cannot be called for comment because it is not a person. “At the same time, I believe I can propose a solution to this problem that will work to the benefit of both Bings, me and the other one,” he added.

Mr. Bing (the Author) issued these statements in reaction to the announcement, made today by Microsoft at the D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, Calif., that the software giant is set to launch an $80 million to $100 million campaign for Bing, the search engine it hopes will help it grab a bigger slice of the online ad market. This huge campaign will be conducted by JWT, the massive advertising agency, and is viewed by many to be an attack on the market position of Google, long the search-engine leader. Little notice has been taken to date, however, of the serious implications for Mr. Bing or, for that matter, any other Bings, which Mr. Bing made clear he doesn’t care about.

“For nearly 25 years, I have jealously guarded the value of my brand,” Bing (the original) continued. “For several years, it was threatened by the enormous reputation of Rudolf Bing, the fictional presence of Chandler Bing, and the high-profile persona of Stephen Bing. This, however, is the worst challenge the Bing Brand has faced to date, particularly in regards to my search-engine-optimization positioning.”

In conjunction with these statements, Mr. Bing has offered to open discussions with Bing the Search Engine and its representatives to iron out differences and challenges to each respective brand. “I think we’re a lot more powerful together than we are apart,” he added. “At least I’m pretty sure I am.”

Bing (Stanley) indicated that the shape and specific nature of the merged branding opportunities have yet to be hammered out, but that he is available from the second week in June onward, for the most part, and would be willing to consider “any reasonable offer” for his services, or simply to provide no services, if that’s what seems best.

Mr. Bing began his column in FORTUNE in 1995. Prior to that, he was at Esquire magazine for 11 years, where he built a considerable following. He is also the author of numerous books and is the host of a popular Web destination on CNNMoney.com and writes regularly for Huffingtonpost.com. He has been cultivating the Bing brand since 1983.

Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. It has been establishing the Bing brand for about 17 minutes.

Contact: Stanley Bing
               bingblog@gmail.com

Stanley Bing is a longtime columnist for Fortune and the author of several books, including What Would Machiavelli Do, Sun Tzu Was a Sissy, and Executricks.