microsoft people ready federated media Nick Denton recently accused Fred Wilson, Om Malik, Mike Arrington, Richard MacManus and several other top tech bloggers of accepting money from Microsoft for endorsing their "People Ready" campaign.

Though Om has withdrawn the Microsoft ad from his blog fearing that it compromises his editorial integrity, it's virtually impossible to digest that he or any of the other blogging elites would ever do this.

Can you buy a quote from Fred Wilson for few thousand dollars ? Never. Fred earlier called Nick a genius for turning Valleywag into a successful business. Wonder how he reacts to this episode. [Fred still loves Nick and Valleywag]

Neil Chase, VP at Federated Media Publishing, has posted a detailed response saying that bloggers were not paid for this:

In the case of this Microsoft campaign, the marketers asked if our writers would join a discussion around their "people ready" theme. Microsoft is an advertiser on our authors' sites, but it's paying them only based on the number of ad impressions delivered. There was no payment for joining the conversation and they were not required to do it.

They're not writing about this on their blogs, and of course several of them have been known to be pretty hard on Microsoft at times as reporters. They're talking about the topic, and readers joined that conversation.

The clear winner here is Microsoft since this controversy will do nothing but draw more eyeballs to their People ready campaign. And Microsoft gets all this traffic without spending a penny as FM has taken down the ads across all their properties.

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