Google the “official innovation provider” for Republican convention

Google is to be the “official innovation provider” for the Republican Convention, according to the convention’s official web site. Thanks to Valleywag for the link. “It’s another huge step in making our convention the most high-tech savvy in history”, enthuses the Convention President Maria Cino.

The convention’s official website, www.GOPConvention2008.com, will eventually feature a full-range of GoogleTM products, including Google Apps, Google MapsTM, SketchUpTM, and customized search tools, which will make navigating the site easier. The convention’s YouTube channel will enable visitors to upload, view, and share online videos. These innovative technologies will also help the GOP streamline convention organization and expand its online reach across websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email.

Looks like a Google blunder to me. The problem is not that the political convention is using Google technology; the problem is the way it is being presented, as a proud partnership. It is particularly unpleasant for a company which is supposed to offer a ruthlessly neutral search engine. Was Google expecting this, I wonder? Is it, as Valleywag suggests, “trying to beef up its GOP lobbying”?

As an aside, plastering the Google brand all over its convention web site does nothing to persuade me that the Republican party is “high-tech savvy.”

Politicising your brand is stupid. Further, Google’s California base was not a hot-bed of Republicanism last time I looked; though frankly a similar deal with the Democrats would be equally daft.

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