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ClickZ: Bailout Drives Search Efforts for Automakers, Advocacy Groups

December 11, 2008

Congress has yet to approve an auto industry bailout, and the topic has people searching the Web for information about it. Advertisers such as Ford and fair lending advocacy groups see value in reaching them through search ads when the issue is top-of-mind. The practice could portend a gradual shift in the way corporations and organizations use search advertising to promote public policy messages and counteract negative impressions…

AFFIL, a two-year-old organization founded by larger consumer advocacy groups, has been using a Google Grant to pay entirely for a search ad campaign “to raise awareness about the prevalence of predatory lending,” said Sarah Byrnes, AFFIL’s campaign manager. The group also has targeted search ads based on keywords related to mortgage, credit, and debt collection. “People find our site that might not find us otherwise,” she said.

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