Politicians play dirty with Google Ads

The main political parties in the UK are currently gearing themselves up for the next general election, which must be called for 3 June this year at the latest. Key to this election, more than those in the past, will be the use of advertising, particularly online and through new and social media.

The Conservative Party got in early with billboard advertising and have now turned their attentions online, according to Rory Cellan-Jones. But this is not straightforward advertising, and uses tactics online retailers have been utilising for a few years: buying the keywords of rivals. So, type "Gordon Brown" into Google and you will probably be greeted with an ad for the Conservatives.

The Tories have bought advertisements for keywords such as "Labour Party" and the names of rival party leaders "Gordon Brown" and "Nick Clegg" through Google's AdWords program. This means that when you search for these terms using the Google or YouTube searches a small piece of text and a link appear in the sponsored links section, directing you towards the Conservatives website or YouTube channel.

Cellan-Jones reveals that "the Conservatives reckon it's one of the cheaper ways of getting their message to a wider audience" and that they have actually been "experimenting with this particular digital campaign tool for a while."

Earlier today, luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton lost its five-year legal battle against Google over rivals using its trademarks as AdWords to direct consumers to other products. Although advertisers will have to make it clear that there is no association between them and the trademarks, they will still be able to buy advertising space for when people search for these brands. However, it will be the advertisers - not Google - who are liable for any trademark infringement.

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29 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Lib Dem FTW, the other two twats do nothing but bitch. Pobody's nerfect but given the choice of the main 3 who can actually end up in power in the current system, I'd vote Nick in any day. For one hes the best advocate for changing the way this country votes people in.

Come on Lib Dem!

pasty2k2 said,
Lib Dem FTW, the other two twats do nothing but bitch. Pobody's nerfect but given the choice of the main 3 who can actually end up in power in the current system, I'd vote Nick in any day. For one hes the best advocate for changing the way this country votes people in.

Come on Lib Dem!

Despite people almost always wanting things to change, they're still creatures of habit, and end up just voting to change to something else they're already familiar with. People don't want things to change into something that would actually be new.

Not one to stifle debate but the comments seem to have tangented.

Anyway, I Obama really shown us the power the Internet can have when it comes to politics. Looking through the results DC returns much more favorable set compared to those of GB.

Conservative will win the election, give them 8-12 years in power and then Labour will look like saviours to the poor as the Tories will be having their normal policies. It happens every time, Tories fix what Labour screw up then everyone gets sick of the Tories and vote the Labour party back, wash, rinse, repeat.

As for the Tories buying adWords labour will bitch but only because they didnt think of it first

bbfc_uk said,
Down with the Conservatives. Labour to win the next election!

Yeah cause they haven't ruined this country enough yet...

SK[ said,]

Yeah cause they haven't ruined this country enough yet...

LOL like the tories would have been better. We would be far worse of if cameron had to deal with it all. He is a muppet.

Well Labour have proven they're useless I guess we should keep them in then?

You should read what jonnyH has said below tbh. Labour have nice ideas but they just don't work in reality.

Edited by ]SK[, Mar 23 2010, 9:05pm :

I'd vote for just about anyone to get rid of Broooon and his cronies.

Although, that awful cow Harman has a very safe Labour seat and would fancy herself as the next potential leader of the party =O =O =O

Edited by mounty, Mar 23 2010, 9:41pm :

bbfc_uk said,
Down with the Conservatives. Labour to win the next election!

I'm totally disheartened with UK politics at the moment. Labour aren't particularly fantastic, but I really would rather not live in a country run by the Tories. It's the lesser of two evils really, and I find the Tories to be quite a bit more "evil". And that is the reason I'll be voting Labour in the next election.

peacemf said,
how about they tell me what their policies are going to be instead of playing with each other?!!!!

Because if they told us their policies, they'd not get any votes.

Labour was founded by the Unions to represent them in politics, the fact that they take money from the Unions is no biggie, better to have a Union influencing a party that one rich snob *cough* Ashcroft *cough*

thealexweb said,
Labour was founded by the Unions to represent them in politics, the fact that they take money from the Unions is no biggie, better to have a Union influencing a party that one rich snob *cough* Ashcroft *cough*

But that's the thing, he condemns strike action yet continues to take money from them (not him personally, but the party). One or the other - not both.

thealexweb said,
Labour was founded by the Unions to represent them in politics, the fact that they take money from the Unions is no biggie, better to have a Union influencing a party that one rich snob *cough* Ashcroft *cough*

hah! UK is and will be ****hole to live in the next several years. They'll find themselves in the same fate as Greek is right now. As far as the union is concern, how are they any different than what you called "the rich"? They are running UK like the mafia, and that's too bad for the people.

vice le von said,

hah! UK is and will be ****hole to live in the next several years. They'll find themselves in the same fate as Greek is right now. As far as the union is concern, how are they any different than what you called "the rich"? They are running UK like the mafia, and that's too bad for the people.

Would live here than ANY where else in the world!

vice le von said,

hah! UK is and will be ****hole to live in the next several years. They'll find themselves in the same fate as Greek is right now. As far as the union is concern, how are they any different than what you called "the rich"? They are running UK like the mafia, and that's too bad for the people.

There USA is already there with their gang style politics, case in point one healthcare bill. They just did what the Republican don told them to do.

vice le von said,

hah! UK is and will be ****hole to live in the next several years. They'll find themselves in the same fate as Greek is right now.

Absolutely no chance, were in a much better position for Greece, for one thing we've left recession Greece hasn't and won't for several months yet, our debt as a portion of GDP is about 60% in Greece is about 85%+

vice le von said,

hah! UK is and will be ****hole to live in the next several years. They'll find themselves in the same fate as Greek is right now. As far as the union is concern, how are they any different than what you called "the rich"? They are running UK like the mafia, and that's too bad for the people.

The UK can devalue sterling, Greece cannot devalue the Euro, so we'll get nowhere near Greece's situation.

thealexweb said,

Absolutely no chance, were in a much better position for Greece, for one thing we've left recession Greece hasn't and won't for several months yet, our debt as a portion of GDP is about 60% in Greece is about 85%+

And do you think those number will decrease for UK upcoming years? Good luck electing the next party in that will do some good, but my hope is not too high for that to happen. People will be betting on the sterling just like they are now with euro, and when that happens, you know UK will be like the PIIGs countries.

Edited by flexkeyboard, Mar 24 2010, 6:45am :