Apparently, Google thinks they’re so un-evil that they can expiate the sins of their advertising clients.
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.
Sound familiar? Of course. The healthcare industry is no stranger to negative press. A drug may be a blockbuster one day and tolled as a public health concern the next. News reporters may focus on Pharma’s annual sales and its executives’ salaries while failing to share R&D costs. Or, as is often common, the media may use an isolated, heartbreaking, or sensationalist story to paint a picture of healthcare as a whole. With all the coverage, it’s a shame no one focuses on the industry’s numerous prescription programs, charity services, and philanthropy efforts.
But her point is not so much to trash the movie as it is to reveal a marketing opportunity:
Many of our clients face these issues; companies come to us hoping we can help them better manage their reputations through “Get the Facts” or issue management campaigns. Your brand or corporate site may already have these informational assets, but can users easily find them?
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. We help you connect your company’s assets while helping users find the information they seek.
If you’re interested in learning more about issue management campaigns or about how we can help your company better connect its assets online, email us. We’d love to hear from you! Setting up these campaigns is easy and we’re happy to share best practices.
But why make your customers healthier — at shareholder expense — when you can just give money to Google to FUD and astroturf the issue?
I haven’t seen Sicko yet, though I plan to. Have you? My family and I have experienced more than our fair share of mistreatment from health care providers and especially insurers. I have a hunch, though, that “fair” is the operative word here — and that it’s not at all “uncommon”. I’m hoping that Sicko provides a thorough treatment of these practices.
What do you think of Google using its advertising might to influence public opinion? If the public’s perception of information becomes (or has already become) a major concern of the world’s primary broker of information, then we may well be on our way to a dystopia of disinformation.
Followup post: Quick update on Google’s “Sicko” Controversy
UPDATE: Lauren Turner responds. Advertising = democracy? Thanks, I feel much better now.