“Do no evil” Google fails own mantra
Google’s famous company mantra “Do No Evil” is being called into question in a complaint filed at the Competition Commission by a South African digital marketing agency called Entelligence.
In short Entelligence alleges that Google has abused its market dominance in an attempt to drive a wedge between Entelligence and one of its major clients – The Yellow Pages SA. The aim, according to Entelligence, is so that Google can pick up the client as its own.
First Google manipulated campaign costings on its Adwords platform that negatively affected the campaigns performance by pushing up the cost per click through from 60c to R2 without informing Entelligence, the group alleges. Later it informed Entelligence that it was no longer willing to renew its accounts with Google (Entelligence claims it is spending $100 000 on Google every 90 days so this isn’t a small change outfit). This while Google SA pitched directly for the client in question.
“Entelligence and many other search engine marketing agencies have represented Google for years in South Africa,” says Sean Riley Managing Director of Entelligence. “Google South Africa is now cherry-picking customers with high expenditure at the expense of companies that have historically supported and grown Google’s client base within South Africa.”
Google cannot afford to undermine the two key pillars of its success affected by this story. It cannot afford to make enemies from its friends through corporate strong arm tactics (a very expensive lesson Microsoft learnt the hard way), and it cannot do away with the public goodwill it has built up, or people will start rooting for alternatives. If it has any sense it would resolve the complaint and put in place transparent procedures to ensure a repeat of these allegations don’t occur.