7 reasons why Michael Moore's next target should be GoogleIn a Larry King interview, award-winning documentary maker Michael Moore says the Pharmaceuticals Industry is ripe for an expose, done obviously in his uniquely polarizing style.
In that interview, Mr. Moore explains that through his documentaries he brings out in the open many facts that the traditional media has not paid much attention to – pointing out to ‘Fahrenheit 91’1, he claims he covered Walter Reed Veterans’ Hospital much earlier before the news media got to it last year.
Google is a worthy topic: It is the latest success in an industry (software technology) which has had a largely unbroken run for more than 30 years now, except the bubble in Web 2.0. In these 30 years, we have seen successful founders toasted as iconic heroes that wannabes with dreamy eyes find worth emulating.
Even during downturns, there have been no homelessness or suicides – “Roger and Me” this aint. However, there are stories aplenty about excess, quick riches, furious bitching, inflated egos, and more.
Here’s what we might learn were Mr. Moore to cover Google first:
1. How Google is slowly becoming another Microsoft: the lobbying engine, the monopoly and all that big company hoohaa.
2. The Real truth behind the famous “Do no Evil” mantra. Was this all a cleverly pre-planned PR trick?
3. Privacy issues: the amount of user data Google stores, with or without users’ permission. In his trademark style Mr. Moore might do Google searches to find out nuggets we did not know before.
4. The Parallel Google Economy: How more spammers, spam blog networks, Black Hat SEOs and profit in the Google adsense system instead of genuine content producers.
5. How dependent genuine, regular businesses are on ranking in Google search results – in other words, how Google search can make or break many a business.
6. An inquiry into Geekdom: are geeks really that arrogant and self-centered that they are portrayed out to be? Mr. Moore would appreciate the Geeks vs. Noobie angle.
7. How Google is morphing from the dominant search engine in the world to the dominant advertising company in the world.
That brings me to the story behind this post:
Google the advertising giant (or the PR giant, take your pick)
In a recent post titled “Does negative press make you Sicko? “, a Google employee calls upon healthcare companies to use Google’s ad services to counter any negative impact of Michael Moore’s latest documentary “Sicko”, the main point of which is that the U.S. healthcare system is too expensive for U.S. citizens – costing twice that of the Canadian system, leaving more than 15% of the population, or about 45 million Americans without any insurance.
I have two points to make about this:
1. Is Google’s Adwords system combined with Doubleclick’s Banner ad system an effective branding tool?
We know that adwords is perhaps not great for building brands and Banner ads do not a brand make.
Using Adwords to deal with the aftereffects of people dying from lack of medical insurance –
that doesn’t sound a part of Google’s famous 10 rules.
Or, does it now?
2. Google the advertising giant and Google the search giant: I don’t now about you, but I am still not comfortable with this.
P.S.: The Google Health Blog has tried to put some quick fix over the faux pax, but the point remains that Google is an ambitious advertising player, and I hope to come across more similar incidents.
The Googplex is Madison Avenue 2.0.