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It's only natural for prospects to comparison shop. We all do it, whether for ourselves personally as well as at work.

So, of course, as marketers and salespeople, we should acknowledge and address that in our communications. Why are we better than the competition and any other alternative?

But, folks, do it with class. Don't put your competition down. Don't slam their products. Just show why your's are superior. Not only is it the right thing to do, but inappropriate criticism is uncalled for.

Microsoft learned that lesson this week after posting a harsh anti-iPhone ad on YouTube. The ad has since been taken down, because of the negative backlash. Microsoft has since issued a statement saying, "The video was intended to be a light-hearted poke at our friends from Cupertino. But it was off the mark, and we've decided to pull it down." The internet being the internet, though, copies of the parody clip are still floating around. Guess what? I have one.

Obviously, Microsoft can weather the storm on this. If it were produced by a small business marketer, they may not have been so lucky. 

Watch the video and share your thoughts.