March 28, 2009

Groups Adapt '08 Tactics for Lobbying Efforts

IF YOU'RE a Blue Dog Democrat and you voted for the stimulus, there's someone using your name on Google to try to turn your constituents against you.

The conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks is launching a search engine advertising campaign this week targeting all 49 of the fiscally conservative House Democrats, either criticizing or applauding them for how they voted on the stimulus package. The organization is buying spots in Google's "Sponsored Links" column, which appears alongside searches for the lawmakers' names.

Don't be surprised if, in the comfort of your Capitol Hill office, a search for your name turns up no ads. FreedomWorks is using Google AdWords to geographically target ads so they only appear for Web users in the relevant congressional districts. This "geo-targeting," plus the fact that the ads won't necessarily appear for every search, makes it difficult to confirm the extent of the ad buy.

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