Google is one of the bigger companies that’s very liberal with having their employees write on official product blogs. Almost all of Google’s products and services have their own official blog managed by Googlers. Matt Cutts is one such prominent Google blogger and whom I’m a huge fan of. His blog about search engine optimization is a blessing to legions of webmasters and bloggers.
However, this recent debacle between Google and Michale Moore over the latter’s film documentary called Sicko is one case why Google shouldn’t allow some of its employees to blog.
When Michael Moore’s documentary got leaked out on P2P networks before public showing, there was a lot of debate around it and the health industry. Google Health Advertising Team published a blog post (“Does negative press make you Sicko?” by Lauren Turner) with a negative tone against Sicko:
“While legislators, litigators, and patient groups are growing excited, others among us are growing anxious. And why wouldn’t they? Moore attacks health insurers, health providers, and pharmaceutical companies by connecting them to isolated and emotional stories of the system at its worst. Moore’s film portrays the industry as money and marketing driven, and fails to show healthcare’s interest in patient well-being and care.”
Her advice to companies in the health care industry is truly an act that goes along the lines of Google’s motto (“do no evil…”):
We can place text ads, video ads, and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant websites within our ever-expanding content network. Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message.
I let out a smirk after reading that post. The advice makes good sense actually — it’s good for Google interest having more advertisers from the health care industry. If it were Yahoo or Microsoft, we wouldn’t react that much (just read all that blog posts ). But for a company who promises to do no evil, their position is totally a 180-degree turn away from it.
“One of Google’s self-proclaimed core values, displayed at Google Hamburg as well, is “Our business practices are beyond reproach,” followed by “We make money by doing good things.” – Philipp Lenssen.