One of the most powerful brands in the world has increased its spending on political lobbying this past year.
Consumer Watchdog reported that Google spent $1.2 million during the third quarter of the fiscal year in its efforts to shape Federal policy, which is 11 percent higher than its expenditures last year during the same period of time. The corporation has paid out $3.92 million during three quarters this year after spending $4.03 million in all of 2009.
Among the issues Google is trying to influence is online advertising regulation, consumer protection, cloud computing and broadband access. John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog's Inside Google Project, said that the company is well-connected to legislators and spending in 2010 could reach $5 million.
According to the magazine Fast Company, Google officials project that there will be a flurry of campaign advertisements reaching Web browsers in the days leading up to the midterm elections. These ads, called "Google bombs" will appear on millions of sites as politicians attempt to reach out to voters in the moments before they head to the polls.
The news source reports that the Web-ad tactic was pioneered by U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in a special election in January 2010. Brown's victory was considered an upset in a state that traditionally elects Democrats into Congress.
"A lot of campaigns saw the success [Brown] had and how he kind of caught this wave of momentum online, and they are trying to recreate that,” Andrew Roos, Google's political ad strategist told the news provider.