Google’s PR Strategy in Advance of the EU’s Monopoly Charges — A Satire

-By Scott Cleland

Confidential Memorandum:

To: All 11,342 Google PR/Spokespeople

From: Brandi Sparkles, Google PR Chief & Googlerati Whisperer

Subject: PR Statement/Strategy in Advance of EU’s Monopoly Charges

We expect the European Union’s antitrust authority to issue a Statement of Objections against Google shortly, which will charge Google with being a monopoly that anti-competitively ranks its own content #1 while ranking its competitors’ content where few will find them.

So you can help rally the Googlerati in the media to Google’s side and organize a chorus of Google adoration among the masses to make this problem blow over, we are sharing an advance copy of our public statement for public dissemination and also a copy of our confidential PR strategy for this event, so you can be in the know. But remember, this PR strategy is not for public distribution.

I. GooglePRBlog:

Posted 4-20-12 by Brandi Sparkles, Google PR Chief:

“We recently received an advance confidential copy of the European Competition Authority’s Statement of Objections, resulting from their antitrust investigation of Google. Since at this stage of the legal process only Google has seen an actual advance copy of the multi-hundred-page Statement of Objections, we thank the EU authorities for this PR opportunity to: game the process; steal the EU’s PR thunder; spin the media’s first impression of the EU action; minimize and mischaracterize the EU’s findings; and line up an adoring chorus of supporters to trash the EU and firmly establish in many people’s minds that Google has done nothing wrong.

First, Google’s position is that the EU’s Statement of Objections is a preliminary finding, not a final one, and we fully believe it will be overturned on appeal despite the fact that that hasn’t happened in a very long time.

Second, this whole thing is no big deal; it’s the equivalent of a parking ticket. Look, all cool American technology companies go through this at some point — it is just our turn, because our size and success rightly generate scrutiny. In America we call this type of thing a non-event — a big nothing-burger. You can go back to sleep now.

Third, we will continue to say we have been fully cooperating with the investigation when we have not, and we will continue to talk down to people that raise antitrust concerns by implying that they are just not smart enough to understand how our business works.

Fourth, to further simulate humility on our part, let us add our standard throw-away line: because there is always room for improvement, we’re happy to discuss any concerns the commission might have.

Finally, we would like to announce that the lone rogue engineer responsible for all of the EU’s stated objections, Mr. Phall Guy, has been found by Google’s management and has been summarily punished severely by having his Google+ account revoked. The EU can rest assured that what they objected to in the Statement of Objections, has already been addressed and won’t happen again. You can trust us on that one, because we want to be a company deserving of great love.”


II. Google’s EU Antitrust PR Strategy:

  1. Leak the news to take the air out of the story.
  2. Leak the story during the deadest part of the news cycle or when another big competing story will swamp it.
  3. Simultaneously, announce new Google product catnip stories to distract the media like: Google Drive, Google Glasses, Google Ear Drums, Google Orthodontia, or Self-Driving Roller Blades.
  4. Smile, claim cooperativeness, and feign humility.
  5. Chant incessantly: “competition is one click away.”
  6. Paint all law enforcement as bent on breaking the Internet.
  7. Paint the EU as a socialist cabal bent on censoring Google’s free speech.
  8. Unleash the Googlerati mob to publicly adore Google and brand all Google dissent as innovation haters.
  9. Accuse China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Apple and Facebook as the real enemies of the Internet, not Google.
  10. Play the shocked, innocent, wronged victim.
  11. _________________
    Scott Cleland is one of nation’s foremost techcom analysts and experts at the nexus of: capital markets, public policy and techcom industry change. He is widely-respected in industry, government, media and capital markets as a forward thinker, free market proponent, and leading authority on the future of communications. Precursor LLC is an industry research and consulting firm, specializing in the techcom sector, whose mission is to help companies anticipate change for competitive advantage. Cleland is also Chairman of, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Precursor LLC and an e-forum on Net Neutrality funded by a wide range of broadband telecom, cable and wireless companies. He previously founded The Precursor Group Inc., which Institutional Investor magazine ranked as the #1 “Best Independent” research firm in communications for two years in a row. His latest op eds can be seen at

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