Google Faux Pas Retracted

michaelmoore.jpgI’m betting that Lauren Turner’s job duties at Google will no longer include blogging. Yesterday she wrote an anti-Sicko (Michael Moore’s new movie lambasting the U.S. health care industry) post on the Google Health Advertising blog, and encouraged health care companies to look to Google advertising as a way to spread their counter-message. That didn’t go over so well with the blogosphere (our coverage here).

The movie, Turner said, “fails to show healthcare’s interest in patient well-being and care.” More than a few people disagree with that statement, and were immediately turned off by Turner’s comments. Particularly since there was a clear profit motive to the post – getting more advertising dollars.

There is no way anyone who’s blogged or worked in PR for more than, say, a week would post something like that on a corporate blog. Millions of Americans have a serious problem with the way health care is handled in this country, and such a polarized topic is hardly one in which a company like Google wants to take a stand. And if they did take a stand, it would be with Moore.

Less than 24 hours later Turner recanted and said the post was her opinion only, and not that of Google. That’s fine, but the damage has been done and egg is all over Google’s face.

What I don’t want to see is Google start to reign in its bloggers. As a public company Google is almost certainly putting blog posts through their legal and PR departments before they go live (how this slipped through is a mystery). If too many situations like the one above occur, they’ll start to add more policies and layers of review. If that happens, we’ll all have less insight into what’s going on there. I’m hoping it doesn’t.