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Google denies providing 'special deal' for Obama's re-election campaign

June 16, 2011 - Washington

Google has denied that it gave US President Barack Obama's re-election campaign special access to a new advertising program, which a sales representative from the search and advertising giant had claimed in an email to customers.

Google launched a new ad program that would charge clients for every email address they collect.

When a staffer at the National Republican Senatorial Committee saw what appeared to be an Obama ad built on this technology on the RealClearPolitics website last month, she emailed a Google salesperson to ask about creating a similar ad campaign for Republicans.

The saleswoman Sirene Abou-Chakra replied by suggesting that Obama had a special deal.

But Google spokesman Jake Parrilo denied that the Obama campaign had been granted special access to the pilot program, and chalked the email up to inaccurate "puffery" by the sales representative, Politico reports.

He said that the ad that appeared on RealClearPolitics was not a Google ad at all.

"This is an experiment and while we generally do not comment on those experiments we can tell you that we have not sold a single CPL (cost-per-lead) ad unit to any political candidates or committees," said Parrillo.

Obama's campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt also supported the company's account that the campaign had not purchased any ads or enrolled in the Google pilot program.


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