So how’s that $100 million advertising investment to launch Bing working out for you Microsoft? And what about that billion-dollar-a-year investment you are making in your Yahoo partnership?

Well, according to data from Experian Hitwise, as reported in ClickZ, Bing lost ground during the four-week-period leading up to and ending November 28, while Google continued to gain. Ouch.

According to the report, “Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing both experienced a decline, dropping 5 percent and 2 percent respectively.” Google experienced an increase of one percentage point. Oh snap.

Of course experts and insiders are saying it is too early to determine whether these investments will pay off. According to eWeek: “Whether the Yahoo-Microsoft agreement, combined with new functionality for Bing, can drive up Microsoft’s U.S. search engine market share is a question that will only start to be answered later in 2010.” Sure, sure, sure.

But it occurs to me that Microsoft may find itself between a rock and a hard place. For years, the company has grown and grown not just as a result of innovation, but also because of its ability to “embrace, extend and extinguish” the competition. But suddenly that approach isn’t working anymore. Suddenly the competition – in this case Google – isn’t quaking in its boots. Somehow this all seems so familiar…

Michael: My credit good enough to buy you out?
Moe Greene: Buy me out?
[Fredo laughs nervously]Michael: The hotel, the casino. The Corleone Family wants to buy you out.
Moe Greene: The Corleone Family wants to buy me out? No, I buy you out, you don’t buy me out.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.