Yesterday saw the Tory party remind us that money does indeed buy power – or influence at least. The Conservative party showed its web 2.0 savviness by snapping up Google keywords as a tactic to undermine Gordon Brown’s budget.
The party bought keywords as the speech played and when searchers typed the terms (like “tobacco duty” into Google they were returned ads that pointed them to the Tory site and what Shadow Secretary Jeremy Hunt described to the Guardian as the ‘real impact’ of the budget on families.
This crafty use of a PPC campaign freaks me out – it’s not exactly as though people don’t know how crazy influential Google is, but basically it just highlights for us again how money will get you everywhere. And money often operates in ways that are not obvious to the naked eye – whether it’s online or in the wider media sphere – and plenty of searchers could find themselves influenced by a campaign that doesn’t exactly seem honest to me. I hope in this case that money doesn’t buy them undeserved love!