(Via Hot Air Headlines) To summarize this Politico article: Google’s testing out a new ad program that harvests email addresses. Fine*. This appeals to political campaigns. Also fine. A NRSC staffer saw something that looks like said ad program – one apparently bought by the Obama campaign – on Real Clear Politics last month, and emails Google’s ad people to get a pricing on a similar service. Still fine. But Google informed the NRSC staffer that:
“This is a pre-alpha product that is being released to a select few clients,” [a Google saleswoman] wrote in an email, referring to the first stage of a product’s roll-out. “I’d be happy to get you into the beta if you’re interested.”
So… Google’s now denying that they sold any ad service like this to the Democrats, and the Democrats are denying that they bought any ad service like this from Google, and the NRSC is a bit annoyed that in the process of all of this unfolding Google apparently provided copies of the NRSCs correspondence with Google to a reporter – and Politico is likewise annoyed that Google is claiming that Politico had gotten the lead on this story from the NRSC. In other words, what we have here is either a failure to communicate… or else a failure to not communicate. As in, the message got through loud and clear – clearer than Google would actually like, in fact.
Anyway, I have no idea whether or not this story has legs, but even if it doesn’t I would suggest that political campaigns not be alpha or beta testers for these kinds of services. Particularly when the company that you work for is joined to the hip to a Presidential administration anyway.
PS: Hey, Google?
Don’t be evil.
*No, really, assuming that the email information is freely and openly given it’s fine.