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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lobbyists; Gaining political advantage on Google

Interesting story recently developed about leftist political lobby group, MoveOn.org, employing Google's trademark policy to prevent the use of its term in ads by counter, right wing, Senators.


Internet strategist for Susan Collins's (Republican Sen), Lance Dutson, complained that Google blocked several re-election ads from the search engine's advertising network because the ads contained the trademarked term "MoveOn.org" in the text.
Go Google for unfairly siding with the lefties. However it was a policy that far exceeds the requirements of trademark law. Google can prevent anybody else from bidding on the name MoveOn.org, but cannot prevent the use of the name in the adcopy and especially where there is a point of relevancy:
"Stop Moveon.org. More MoveOn money in Maine than anywhere else. Learn how to help," read one of the ads.

In any case, Move.org withdrew from that policy on Friday as a result of the growing controversy:
"We don't want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression....", "...of course we support the right of anyone to parody us", says Jennifer Lindenauer, MoveOn.org's communications director. And Google has been getting a bashing on conservative blogs like everybody's favourite: reagangahagan.blogspot.com

Pablo Chavez, Google's public policy counsel, rejected claims that Google had refused to run the advertisements based on political grounds. You can checkout an interview with Pablo Chavez, Google's senior lobbyist in DC, here

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