Consumer Watchdog's over-the-top cartoon goes too far

September 3, 2010: 1:56 PM ET

The consumer privacy watchdog pushed a controversial new cartoon ad this week portraying Google's CEO as the evil ice cream truck driver, luring children in with with free goodies, but taking personal information as part of the exchange.

Consumer Watchdog has in the past called for a breakup of Google, among other things because of its perceived power in search and possible misuses of power to other business units.  That complaint has some merit because Google could use that power to unfairly compete.  However, this ad is insulting and distracts from that message, trying clumsily to make Google, and specifically CEO Eric Schmidt, seem evil.

(Ironically hosted on Google's YouTube)

Coincidentally, today Google updated and simplified its privacy policies. As the poster Mike Yang, Associate General Counsel of Google (GOOG), points out, it still isn't 'beach reading.'

Besides, Facebook is where mom looks up old boyfriends (Google doesn't have access) and everyone already knows dad spend too much time on, (unless something uglier was insinuated?).  I think they also tried to throw in the Red Herring Streetview data controversy in there to confuse the message even more.

In the end, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Consumer Watchdog should spend their money going after real issues, not make up new ones.  And if they are so genuine about their cause, maybe they should stop using Google Analytics to track their visitors, which adds to 'Google's database of Evil'.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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