French Flacks Want Their Information in First Place

The largest PR and communications firm in France is asserting that "Wikipedia cannibalizes the image" of the biggest French corporations and their CEOs. Euro RSCG 's complaint is that Wikipedia articles score exceptionally high in search engine rankings -- often ahead of the corporations' own websites. A recent study of the top 40 French corporations found that, for 39 companies, the Wikipedia article appeared on the first page of Internet search results. Euro RSCG disputes the veracity of the Wikipedia articles and claims that they "contribute to the enterprises' image and can harm the value of their brand." Pierre Beaudouin, President of Wikimedia France, responded that "PR firms forget that a Wikipedia article is not intended to assure promotion of a company." He added that corporations could help ensure accuracy by pointing out good sources of information, but he said that companies usually just want to have their press releases included verbatim.