Monday, July 02, 2007

Google Not Gaga Over SiCKO. Has Remedy for Pharma

That Girl from Google is at it again!

This time it's Lauren Turner, Account Planner, Google Health who posted this to Google's Health Advertising Blog:
Lights, camera, action: the healthcare industry is back in the spotlight. (Not that it ever left the stage.) Next week, Michael Moore’s documentary film, Sicko, will start playing in movie theaters across America.

The New York Times calls Sicko a “cinematic indictment of the American health care system.” The film is generating significant buzz and is sure to spur a lively conversation about health coverage, care, and quality in America. While legislators, litigators, and patient groups are growing excited, others among us are growing anxious. And why wouldn’t they? 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.

Sound familiar? Of course. The healthcare industry is no stranger to negative press. A drug may be a blockbuster one day and tolled as a public health concern the next. News reporters may focus on Pharma’s annual sales and its executives’ salaries while failing to share R&D costs. Or, as is often common, the media may use an isolated, heartbreaking, or sensationalist story to paint a picture of healthcare as a whole. With all the coverage, it’s a shame no one focuses on the industry’s numerous prescription programs, charity services, and philanthropy efforts.

Many of our clients face these issues; companies come to us hoping we can help them better manage their reputations through “Get the Facts” or issue management campaigns. Your brand or corporate site may already have these informational assets, but can users easily find them?

We can place text ads, video ads, and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant websites within our ever-expanding content network. Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message. We help you connect your company’s assets while helping users find the information they seek.

If you’re interested in learning more about issue management campaigns or about how we can help your company better connect its assets online, email us. We’d love to hear from you! Setting up these campaigns is easy and we’re happy to share best practices.

As for Sicko, all I can say is -- go easy on that buttered popcorn.
This has generated quite a storm of protest in the blogosphere, including these comments from Cary Byrd at
How convenient! This ad rep just happens to take the side of U.S. healthcare companies against Moore and “negative press,” and just happens to be in a position to directly benefit from advertising dollars from these self-same companies. (See "Google ad rep tells U.S. healthcare companies how to beat Michael Moore").
Another blogger notes:
If it were Yahoo or Microsoft, we wouldn’t react that much (just read all that blog posts ). But for a company who promises to do no evil, their position is totally a 180-degree turn away from it. (See "Some Googlers shouldn’t be allowed to blog").

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:46 PM


    I found another "response" to Moore's "SICKO" that was equally self-serving as Ms. Turner/Google's.

    CNN offered rebuttal to Moore's interview. The CNN medical expert stated that Moore's documentary was relatively factual (the facts were stretched a bit, or viewed through a very narrow focus). However, the spokeswoman for the insurance industry--responded to the fact that there are 43 million (42-50 million) U.S. citizens without health insurance, including 9 million children. Through her eyes the problem was simple; we do not have a medical care crisis; we do not have NO ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE for some portion of our citizenry; we are not paying more of our GNP for healthcare that ranks us 37th in the world. We, as a nation, must find a way to INSURE these uninsured people. Granted, insuring these people would be a start . . . but who truly stands to benefit most--the formerly uninsured, or the bloated insurance industry?



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