If you’re upset that BP is trying to control information about their oil spill by buying oil tankers full of advertising (get it?) from Google, here is a simple solution:
Step one: Search for “Oil Spill” on the Google
Step two: Click on the sponsored ad
Step three: Profit (for Google at least…)
Every time you, a friend, a co-worker, or just about anyone else clicks on the Oil Spill sponsored link, Google charges BP over $1.20. That on it’s own isn’t a lot, but multiply that by the number of pissed off people and you can start to deplete their advertising budget. When the budget is spent, the ads disappear….or BP forks over more cash to Google. Either way, it feels good.
Click on this:
How this works:
Any company can enroll in Google AdWords. Any company, like BP, can target specific search terms, such as “oil spill” and can have their ads displayed at the top of the search results.
Google charges BP every time a user clicks on the ads in the search results. Therefore, the more people click on the BP-sponsored ads, the more BP pays. Brilliant!
Why people are upset:
People, myself included, feel that BP is trying to restrict the messy flow of information (get it?) By purchasing search terms like “Oil Spill” – BP can ensure that their message and their side of the story is heard. Less tech-savvy users do not always distinguish between natural search results and paid search results.
Let me be clear – BP has the right to buy these ads and I’m not suggesting otherwise. Let’s just make sure that it costs them as much as possible.
Don’t believe me? Calculate it for yourself:
edit: I first learned about the BP’s advertising plan here http://consumerist.com/2010/06/bp-buys-up-search-phrases-to-keep-you-from-snooping-on-its-heroic-clean-up-efforts.html