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Google Accused of (But Denies) Giving Obama Special Ad Access

Google blames inaccurate "puffery" from sales rep for causing confusion

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Google Accused of (But Denies) Giving Obama Special Ad Access
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A bit of political controversy has erupted around Google and an Obama ad that recently ran. Long story short: The National Republican Senatorial Committee has suspicions that Google gave the Obama campaign a special deal on a new type of ad (Cost-per-lead), which the company is currently testing. Google denies this notion, and that the ad in question was even a Google ad.

Do you believe Google? Let us know in the comments.

Politico ran an interesting article about unconfirmed and denied suspicions that Google had given President Obama a special deal on an as-of-yet released advertising product. The publication reports that a staffer at the National Republican Senatorial Committee saw “what appeared to be an Obama ad built on this technology” at the site RealClearPolitics last month, and then emailed Google asking about running the same kind of ad for Republicans.

The Google saleswoman reportedly replied, “This is a pre-alpha product that is being released to a select few clients. I’d be happy to get you into the beta if you’re interested.” Politico then quotes the NRSC communications director as saying that this “raises some red flags that the Obama campaign appears to have been given special access to a new online advertising product.”

The article quotes Google spokesman Jake Parrilo as saying that the email contained inaccurate “puffery” by the sales rep, and that the ad that appeared on RealClearPolitics wasn’t even a Google ad. Google has chalked the whole thing up as a “mistake” by the rep.

Fox News says: “Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told FoxNews.com that the Obama campaign did not purchase any of the ‘cost-per-lead’ ads through Google. Google’s press office also denied that the president’s reelection effort got any early deal, considering the ‘cost-per-lead” program has not even been rolled out yet.’”

Parrilo is also quoted as saying, “This is an experiment and while we generally do not comment on those experiments we can tell you that we have not sold a single CPL [cost-per-lead] ad unit to any political candidates or committees.”

So, by Google’s account, the ad the NRSC is talking about wasn’t even their ad, and the kind of ad they’re talking about has not been sold to any political candidates. As you might imagine, there are plenty of people chiming in in the comments of Politico’s report. Here are a few:

“Google is all about control and knowing every inch of your life and so is the Obama administration. They make a perfect fit IF that’s what you want your life to be.”

“Notice the key words in their denials. They claim Obama hasn’t paid for the service and Obama claims he hasn’t paid them for a service. It was most likely given to him for free. So technically they’re telling the truth.”

“If this turns out to be true…..a deal between Obama and Google, I will immediately eject Google from my computers.”

“I Bing…I don’t use Chrome.”

Google’s history with the Obama administration draws plenty of scrutiny from onlookers. Former CEO and current executive chairman Eric Schmidt is a well known Obama supporter, and was named to Obama’s Science and Technology advisory council. In late 2008 alone, it was reported that six Google execs had donated $25,000 a piece to fund Obama’s swearing-in party. That includes Dick Costolo, who is now CEO of Twitter, by the way.

NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh told FoxNews.com that Google has reached out to the committee. Walsh reportedly told the site in an email, “They claim this was a misunderstanding. We are currently examining that but certainly the appearance raises a red flag when you consider that Google executives have contributed almost a million dollars to President Obama’s political campaigns.”

In a 2008 post on Google’s Public Policy Blog addressing the company’s political advertising policies, Peter Greenberger wrote, “We permit political advertisements regardless of the political views they represent, and apply our policies equally. Just as the Net itself provides space for a thousand political opinions to bloom, Google is committed to being a neutral platform for people to advertise their political messages.”

An interesting side story here is that Google has separate ad teams that run Republican and Democratic campaigns. These teams, Politico says it was told by Parrillo, are unaware of the other side’s projects or deals. Google spokesperson Rob Shilkin also told Search Engine Land, “As our clients know, when we experiment with new products like this, our sales teams always has, and always will, offer the exact same opportunity to both sides of politics, at the same time. Our Democratic and Republican sales teams are strictly separated from each other and are charged with offering the absolutely best online ad solution for their respective clients.”

Is this being blown out of proportion, or do you think there are legitimate “red flags” being raised? Tell us what you think.

Google Accused of (But Denies) Giving Obama Special Ad Access
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  • henry

    Liberals have no religion, they have no belief a person can make it on there own. A liberal believes politics are the religion, and only them and their religion of politics can save you. Liberals will throw anyone under the bus if they don’t believe or follow their agenda. Politics is the religion of the liberal.

  • henry

    Democrats have lied for years, they started a war on poverty in the 1960′s and poverty won, look at the rust belt of America, that is what the liberal and Democrat have done to the country, Democrats have empty words and speeches.

  • henry

    Democrats don’t like anyone to oppose them, they don’t like free speech, just look at the socialists on here who say they are opting out because they don’t like what the author on here wrote.. bye bye democrat live in your bubble with other one sided people who know nothing but blind elegance to their religion the democrat liberal party

  • billt

    Listen to yourselves… it was a simple question… makes no diference whether you like it… or don’t Google can do whatever they want… as can Obamma… all the bickering on the planet will not change what’s happening… In this country we cannot agree on anything… Period…
    Has anyone ever heard the statement… united we stand… devided we fall… well we are all going to get bent over and B.F’d Because thats the whole idea… keep us all bickering… and pissed at someone else cuzz they don’t think like us…while big money and the “Good ole Feds” flush us all down the pearly throne… Libs… GOP … Dems ??? U just don’t get it !!!!! Diane is the one who seems to get it… check it out kiddies… http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/hitler_was_a_rothschild.htm and then put on your big girl panties… cuzz we are in for some bad sh–

  • ktevin

    Never Never trust a Politician….ESPECIALLY A DEMOCRAT if you love your liberty. Democrats are lying Marxists with the goal numero uno of stealing ALL of your liberties and enslaving you.

  • ktevin

    The Google mantra “do no evil” is a complete b.s. lie. They are a corporation and will do whatever they wish now that they have the power on the inet that they have. Google will abide to any govt. admin. in power especially the likes of Marxist Obama. Google can never be trusted!!!!!

  • Curtis

    I do not believe google. Their news stores are always slanted toward the left wing politics and I have never read an accurately told story from google, it seems that google gets it’s talking points directly from the DNC.

    I have no love for either party, the RNC has no real direction and are nothing more than DNC-lite, while the DNC appears to be a Socialist / Fascist political party.

    So people with power who proclaim what comes from theDNC is true are people that want to oppress and lord overothers and have a god complex just like Obama, Clintons, FDR, Wilson, Nixion and Bush41 & Carter.

    The USA is becoming more and more like the USSR or Cuba or China.

  • Don

    Hell no I don’t believe them; they are part of the corporate-fascist Fourth Reich. Lie and deny; their motto.

  • obama’s boss

    Why would it be surprising that the Democrats are moving to dominate and control the “new” media just like they control the old media? They have been desperate to counter/control the internet. Obama is trying to get authority to “shut-down” the internet if he deems it appropriate-just like Mubarak did in Egypt. This is not a secret. It’s part of the regulation/legislation he’s trying to shove through. Democrats hate-hate-that we can, in seconds, discover they’re lying.

    I too will sweep Google off my computer, and I will suggest everyone I know or encounter do the same, if we discover there is a grain of truth to this. Google’s denial has wiggle room, in my reading. They say they didn’t “sell” an ad, but are experimenting. Those assertions are not inconsistent. Google has the power to do a lot of evil. Why else would Obama be so solicitous?

  • mike

    I know this is relevant to this subject but I require advise, there is a negative content and a private violation on a website about my which appeared on google. please advise how could the above content can remove ?
    your prompt response appreciated

    regards Mike

  • mike

    sorry there is some error in my previous email
    I know this subject is not relevant, but i require your prof advise, there is some negative content and privacy violation about me in one of website which appeared on google.com , could you assist/advise how the above content can be move?

  • JN

    With so many politicians in the pockets of corporate lobbyists, this is a pathetically petty issue. However, I’m sure those who seek to find fault with Obama at every turn will milk it as much as possible. I get the impression Webpro is trying to stir it up. Personally, I won’t be distracted any further than writing this.

  • http://www.theshiftingparadigms.com Michael Garza

    No big surprise here. They run in the same circles and are above the law, right?

  • snt

    This is a free market. Google should be able to sell anything that is legal to anyone in any way they want. Why these effing right wing nut jobs that promote free market even bringing this up as an issue?

  • Brian

    I don’t doubt it at all. I saw several left wing liberal California democratic senate and governor candidate ads last year on my websites (running as public service ads – lol), sites completely unrelated to politics

    Why does marissa mayer, a google exec, host dinner parties for Obama?

    Why did Obama meet with the execs at Facebook?

    You would be stupid to think nothing is going on here.

  • http://smsia.ru otpravka

    Why does marissa mayer, a google exec, host dinner parties for Obama? otpravka tajsel

  • John

    Whatever Google does for one side, must be done for the other side at the same time, no secret deals or I’ll just switch to yahoo if there is any unfairness.

  • Greg

    Petty politicians looking to create controversy – let’s keep focused on
    issues of importance

  • http://Sportcase.org Fred

    It is and has been a fact from the very beginning of the Obama campaign the Media (News Media prticulary) have been bought and paid for by Obamas people (Billionair George Soros”Moveon.com to namd one of many) The whole Obama election was bought and paid for and they continue to move forward non-stop. nybody with half a brain could see that the almost the whole media was pushing Obama. Nobody bothered Obama but they LL went to Alaska and attacted Sara Palin (and still are)Bush had Katrina and everybody went agains him, even though hew gave out Debit cards, campers etc. Obama had the tornado in Joplin, and he was having tea with the Queen of England and traveling the world with an unbelievable onturage that cost tax payers tons of money.
    ANYWAYS When I was watching the Presidential Election on the TV, every time Obama won a state, the news anchorman said “WE one another one”.
    Even Fonzi and Ritchie were promoting Obama. So it would be NO surprise that Google or any other bought and paid for media would give Obam the edge!
    Thanks for your time!

  • Unduped

    Didn’t Google recently stop notice of myriad links to a Press Release issued by the estate of Adrian Jacobs concerning their case against J.K Rowling? This case is scheduled to be heard in Britain’s High Court in London on feb/2012. The notorious legal firm called Schillings that represents Rowling apparently has the whole of Britain’s ‘free’ press under threat not to print a single word of fact or fiction that might portray Rowling in a bad light. They get legal injunctions issued at the drop of a hat when and as they will to foreclose articles they deem threatening to their client. If Google can allow itself to bow to threats from these people what good is it? The Press Release was printed everywhere and shows nothing defamatory by any standards but it would seem that no opportunity to dumb down what could be the biggest case of its kind in legal history is missed by Schillings. This should give us all cause for serious concern as freedom of the press is exactly what brought down Nixon and changed the course of legal procedures in America for the better. Lose that we lose everything. Perhaps Google has lost it already? Past editors of the NY Times must be spinning in their graves!

  • duh

    some politician is complaining that another politician _may_ have gotten advertising (that no one has seen posted anywhere but on the complaining politician’s website) for free, but he can’t prove it. He’s a politician people. We believe him why?

  • Amit

    Is there no one to stop Google? They do what they like………..

  • http://www.preciousmemoriessafaris.com PRECIOUS MEMORIES SAFARIS

    i totally trust goggle

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  • Frank

    Spam somewhere else