The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Do Google Love Gangsters?
June 24, 2009, 6:38 am
Filed under: Comment

Before I start, could George sit down, take a deep breath, maybe have a sup of tea.

And Jonathan. Well I want Jonathan to step away from the computer and do something completely different. COMPLETELY different.

And for the sake of my friends and colleagues pensions, I guess it would be wise for me to say this is just a little tease and in no way something I am claiming is a designated business strategy for Google.

All done?


OK … how about also adding these things can happen to the best of us and there’s been lots of occasions where inadvertent fuck ups have occurred by sheer bad luck.

Or lack of attention to detail.

Like the time a media planner sponsored the Sunday night movie for Johnson & Johnson tampons … only to find he had inadvertently spent a shitload of the clients cash happily announcing an association with RAMBO: First Blood.

Or the time the Telstra agency ran full page ads saying people could download the song of the Australian Idol winner – only to realise the URL didn’t have the .au suffix, which meant millions of tiny and impressionable kids got sent to a US gay porn stars site of the same name.


Oh fuck it, it’ll have to do.

Right … imagine you’re a high end fashion retailer, a high end fashion retailer who carefully manages every element of the brand perception.

You spend an absolute fortune making sure you seen in the right places and with the right associations.

So guess how happy you must be when Google serve this ad next to an article about one of your over-priced, over-hyped new lines …

If you can’t see what it is, on the left is an article in about a new LV belt, and on the right is an ad for the new line of fakes available from some dodgy Asian shop.

On one hand its inspired ad placement for the pirates, on the other, it’s unlikely LV will regard Google as best buddies.

How did it happen?

Well apparently it has something to do with how Google handle none- AU IP addresses, but for me, the bigger issue is that Google took money off a company that sells pirated goods – stop that and that would go a long way to avoiding this sort of thing.

Mind you, with the amount of money being made on pirated products these days, maybe it’s Google demonstrating their fierce brain again and recognising that in the future, they’ll be more money advertising fakes for companies than the real thing from the brand ‘owners’.

As I said, there are occasions where this thing can happen by pure bad luck … like the time KFC launched the Big Apple Crumble and Towering Inferno burger on September 11th 2001 … but I have to say in this instance, I think it’s due to both a questionable conduct by someone at Google sales AND a momentary lack of foresight when creating the systems that decides where ads should appear.

Mind you, it does prove something else … targeting on digital can be more imaginative and effective than most other ad channels, including the self-appointed ‘experts’ at 1-2-1 marketing, DM.

10 Comments so far
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thank you for making georges “holiday” a million times fucking worse than it already was campbell. you are dead. you do know that dont you? and were seeing jonno tomorrow, youll never get in or out of sf alive. this has perked me up, what a fucking mate you are.

Comment by andy@cynic

what the fuck is all this “it has something to do with how Google handle none- AU IP addresses”? i go away for a few fucking days and you turn into mathew fucking broderick in war games? you humiliate yourself being a queen loving, gadget buying planner. dont make it fucking worse by trying to pass yourself off as a techno twat as well. just looking out for you.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know you’ve got your tongue firmly placed in your cheek with this post and there is something wrong that a company who produces pirated goods can use Google paid advertising to further their footprint, but its a bit harsh to say our Mountain View buddies are gangsters just because one of their systems has a lapse of effectiveness. And like you said, maybe it was a predetermined business strategy because they know the future is all about fakes.

If you can point the finger at Google for this, I’d hate to imagine what you were like when your mobile kept failing.

Did you burn Sony Ericsson’s offices down? Are you the militant consumer advocate. 🙂

Comment by Pete

Sorry George. And Jonathan.

It was a joke … and hey, I’m even saying you’re uber-forward thinking. It’s a compliment. I’m bloody complimenting you, ha.

And Pete, I like the ‘militant customer advocate’ tag, I could launch a sister magazine to Which, it could be called “WHICH COMPANY DESERVES A KICKING?”

Comment by Rob

hat tip!! this one got a big laugh in the office

Comment by PC

You are all misreading the intent of the post. counterfeit is the future. G knows,Rob knows it. But it is a taboo to talk about, well till oprah admits it, so he wrote it like a joke. Campbell is pulling an Oscar Wilde.

Salute google, salute campbell.

Brilliant brains indeed

Comment by Niko

Unless Google sell and serve the advertising directly, I’m guessing it’s being served via Google Adsense?

And whoever administers that account has the ability to block advertising, just like anyone who uses Adsense?

So they could quit easily solve the problem themselves?

Comment by Dan Thornton

Well they work with you. QED

Comment by John

Even without Robert’s 3rd from last paragraph, I would still say you are right Niko.

I don’t know if that will make George feel better, but knowing head google honcho Jonathon, I think he’ll find it rather amusing even if it will be in a “I wish he hadn’t said it” kind of way. LOL.

Comment by Bazza

Google don’t give a flying fuck about dodgy ads.
The place I used to work were CONSTANTLY mimicked and ripped off on adwords, breaking google’s terms and they cared not one jot about dealing with it.


Comment by Rob Mortimer

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