Lauren Turner, an account planner at Google’s Health Advertising team, learned an important lesson this weekend as she offered her personal opinion on a Google corporate blog, causing an illusionary hatred from Google towards Michael Moore’s new movie, Sicko.
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.
Turner then targeted the healthcare industry, suggesting them to purchase Google text and video ads to “get the facts” out. Was she implying that Ads may be purchased for the keyword Sicko, prior to the launch of Mr. Moore’s new movie?
Many people, who were unable to separate personal rhetoric from corporate fact, simply took Turner’s words the wrong way. But we’re not excusing Ms. Turner, by any means, for offering her opinion on Google’s blog.
Whether it be by force or personal ambition, Turner responded to her earlier post, clarifying her fault:
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.
Turner then reiterated her previous point that Google can aid the healthcare industry in responding to Moore’s one-sided opinion through advertising:
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.
Ironically, Turner’s Sicko-bashing post has effectively brought more attention (free advertising) to Moore’s movie than he could have possibly hoped for. But we all make mistakes, and at the end of the day, at least Turner can say: “I’ve learned a few things since I posted on Friday.”