More on Lauren from Google

So the post about how advertising can help save you from the big bad Michael Moore at Google was retracted. (sort of)

She says, “…some readers thought the opinion I expressed about the movie Sicko was actually Google’s opinion. It’s easy to understand why it might have seemed that way, because after all, this is a corporate blog. So that was my mistake — I understand why it caused some confusion.”

No, I wasn’t confused. I knew it was her opinion and not Google’s. However, she needs to take a course in how to not be professionally unwise. In her position, it was unwise of her to say anything about the movie or risk being ‘misinterpreted’.

No, I got you loud and clear, you want money and you intend to get it by using advertising. She goes on to clarify her point from the first blog post…

“But the more important point, since I doubt that too many people care about my personal opinion, is that advertising is an effective medium for handling challenges that a company or industry might have. You could even argue that it’s especially appropriate for a public policy issue like healthcare. Whether the healthcare industry wants to rebut charges in Mr. Moore’s movie, or whether Mr. Moore wants to challenge the healthcare industry, advertising is a very democratic and effective way to participate in a public dialogue.”

Advertising is democratic? (insert jon stewart ‘Whaaaaaaa?’)

Advertising is not an effective medium for public policy issues like healthcare. Advertising is trying to sell you something. Always. Now, that’s not the worst thing in the world, we are a capitalist society so we’ve got advertising, that’s part of the deal. Google even makes it relevant, which is great.

The problem is that she is saying it’s democratic. I don’t think she is quite clear on what that word means. You don’t ‘pay’ for democracy nor is advertising a place for public debate unless you’ve got some pretty deep pockets.

This is a perfect Blogging 101 lesson. When you blog for your company on said companies blog site, it’s best to keep the politics out of it. She could have sent that first blog post to all the clients she was trying to reach as an EMAIL. That’s who she was targeting her message at and it probably would have been very effective. Instead, she garnered a bunch of blog o sphere negativity and probably didn’t make anybody internally @ Google excited about having employees blog if they are going to say things like that.

Late breaking news, there is an ‘official apology/retraction’ on the blog now.

Let me be clear. I do not blame Google for this. I blame Lauren. If Google’s policy was more like my employer’s blogging policy, maybe she would have thought harder about the ‘think about consequences’ part.

Google mentions that they review every blog post. This puts them in a position of responsibilty for every single post. We don’t do that at my company which makes the individuals responsible and not the company. I believe strongly that this forces people to think harder about what they put out there. If the company is approving my post, I may not be as careful. If Google wants to encourage coporate blogging, they might want to think about getting out of the way. 🙂

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