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Monday, January 26, 2004

Tim Blair, OzBlogger extraordinaire, notes a new strategy by the Beeb.

The BBC has paid Google to display BBC links when someone searches for "Hutton Inquiry" or "Hutton Report". Of course, the Hutton Report will be issued about how the BBC came to claim that Tony Blair's government "sexed up" its Iraq intelligence to make its case for the war and the subsequent suicide of David Kelly, who was (apparently falsely, by the BBC reporter who wrote the "sexed up" story) claimed to be the BBC's source for the story.

The BBC has not hesitated in the past to put its own self serving spin on the story. So what this appears to be is an attempt to divert internet inquiries into a report which is likely to be painful for the BBC to the BBC itself in order to continue that spinning.

Ah, but there's a rub. According to the Guardian,

"... advertisers bid for key words but only pay when a searcher clicks on the link. "


"The two-week trial will come out of the BBC's £63.5m annual marketing budget and a BBC spokesman said that, if successful, the trial would be extended."

So let's help the Beeb out. Do the search and hit the BBC link. Then do it again. And again. Let's see just how much the Beeb wants to pay to spin.

Which of the two organizations would you prefer to have the money?


I am starting to believe that the story wasn't true, since a Google search of "Hutton Report" turns up no paid Beeb links as of 9:30 am EST.

Too bad. It would have been fun to savage their advertising budget.
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