Google Defends Not Running Anti-Clinton Banners

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Google is being criticized as taking an anti-conservative stance involving a banner campaign advertising a book about the "abuses of power" by former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY. The author and publisher claim ads were pulled late last week after initial acceptance, while Google denied removing any ads that received approval.


"Google's decision to reverse its prior approval and shut down this banner ad campaign reeks of political bias," said Candice Jackson, author of "Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine." Jackson and the publisher, World Ahead Publishing, Los Angeles, claimed the campaign was pulled because Google CEO Eric Schmidt is a financial backer of the senator and a Democratic Party supporter.


The ads showed a cover of the book or pictures of the Clintons and various statements, including one from Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer who testified in Paula Jones' sexual harassment case, saying, "The true nightmare Bill and Hillary put me through." The ad campaign began May 31.


Eric Jackson, president of World Ahead Publishing, said that though Google had approved the campaign and it was performing "very strongly," the search engine pulled the campaign June 9. When asked why, a Google representative said the company's policies didn't allow it to display ads that are against an individual, according to World Ahead.


However, a Google spokesman said that only some of the ads for "Their Lives" were accepted and that those are still running on Google's network, while others were rejected. He also denied that the ads were accepted or rejected because of political views.


"These decisions are based on our policies, not political views," Google spokesman Mike Mayzel said. "We have routinely accepted and rejected ads for materials that are for or against a wide variety of public views."


Google's policy on ads states: "Ad text advocating against any organization or person is not permitted. Stating disagreement with, or campaigning against, a candidate for public office, a political party or public administration is generally permissible."


Conservative activist group RightMarch.com said last month that Google rejected its ads targeting House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi while running ads attacking House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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