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<nettime> Google's PR machine (Modified by Geert Lovink)
eveline lubbers on Thu, 16 Feb 2006 14:02:25 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Google's PR machine (Modified by Geert Lovink)

(Why we stay in China. Damage control strategies for the Don't Do Evil 
company Google now are being manufactered by spin doctors, in this case 
usual suspects from Brittian. /geert)

Google ensures it has good links to Downing Street
Independent on line,13 February 2006

By Guy Adams

Like Tony Blair before them, Google has hired a "big gun" to help it 
spin away from a tight spot: New Labour's arch PR fixer, Tim Allan.

In conditions of near-secrecy, the world's largest internet company has 
employed Allan - Alastair Campbell's youthful former deputy - to put a 
shine back on its tarnished public image.

His firm, Portland PR, has been engaged to lobby both the British 
government and the national media, following Google's decision to allow 
the Chinese government to censor the content of its site.

Although exact details of the deal are unknown - neither side will 
talk, except to confirm they are "working together" - Allan, above, was 
apparently hired on the advice of Rachel Whetstone, a former colleague 
at Portland.

She left his team to work for Michael Howard at the last election 
before taking a job as head of communications at Google.

News of the appointment will be a bit cosy for some to stomach, since 
Google will now be able to count on a sympathetic reception from key 
figures from within both the Government and the Opposition.

It will also throw Allan's chequered past back into the spotlight, five 
months after he was accused of trying to make the BBC sack its Today 
programme presenter, John Humphrys.

That row blew up after Allan leaked a secret recording of an 
after-dinner speech - in which Humphrys made unflattering comments 
about Blairite politicians - to a Labour-supporting newspaper.

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