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Microsoft Says Sorry For "Crass" Tweet On Amy Winehouse

PR can be a tough job which sometimes leaves no room for people's feelings or any scruples; how else can one explain why Microsoft UK's public relations would manage to anger the general public by using the death of controversial British singer Amy Winehouse to promote its own Zune service.

@Tweetbox360 sent a tweet on Sunday (opens in new tab) asking its followers "Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking 'Back to Black' over at Zune:social.zune.net/album/Amy-Wine...".

The Twitter account was later updated with another tweet saying, "Apologies to everyone if our earlier Amy Winehouse 'download' tweet seemed purely commercially motivated. Far from the case, we assure you."

Then hours later, a third one appeared which read: "With Amy W’s passing, the world has lost a huge talent. Our thoughts are with Amy's family and friends at this very sad time".

Some have condemned Microsoft's attempt to profiteer from Winehouse's death as "crass" or "vile" although others just accept the fact that firms are going to try and cash in on her death just as they did with Michael Jackson two years ago.

Did Microsoft's PR knowingly take a risk when posting a link to Amy Winehouse's albums on Zune? Certainly not. But the fact that the departed singer has two albums (opens in new tab) (Back to Black and Frank) in the top 3 on Apple's iTunes UK might explain the overzealousness of Microsoft's PR.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.