11,000 premature deaths;
nearly 5,000 heart attacks;
130,000 asthma attacks;
5,700 hospital and emergency room visits; and
540,000 days when people miss work and school
A web version of Four Screens to Victory can be found on Google.com, however the mercury campaign case study is not included in that version. The document describes how Google and New Media Strategies -- since renamed MXM Social -- worked together on the implementation of ACCCE's lobbying plan:
"In the spring of 2012, the U.S. Senate was considering legislation critical to the clean coal industry. As the industry’s voice in Washington, the American Coalition for Clean Coal electricity (ACCCe) sought ways to mobilize grassroots supporters of the legislation across the country to make their voices heard in the nation’s capital. The bill that the Senate would vote on was not on newspaper front pages or leading nightly newscasts, s ACCCE needed to find creative ways to identify citizens who backed its position – and then needed a mechanism to connect those people with their U.S. Senators."
An inquiry to MXM confirms as much. In response to my questions, Ross Parman, MXM's manager of insights and public affairs said,
"Social media marketing firm New Media Strategies (NMS) [now MXM] and Google implemented a groundbreaking click-to-call mobile advertising campaign on ACCCE’s behalf, connecting constituents with their U.S. Senators to support an amendment to stop regulation harmful to the clean coal industry. ACCCE’s campaign, which generated 3,000 phone calls to Senators over about two weeks, is the first time an issue advocacy organization has used mobile click-to-call advertising on Google to connect constituents to Senate offices at this scale."
In response to our inquires, a source at Google told me that the company maintains a neutral stance when it comes to who uses their various platforms and for what purpose, especially on politically charged issues like U.S. environmental policy. With the scale of clients and users Google needs to deal with, their politically neutral stance is understandable, and Google does have strict standards around using their platform for things clearly inappropriate to promote (i.e.. illegal drugs, sexual services, hate literature etc.).
The amendment supported by the click-to-call campaign was actually a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. CRAs are a gambit that rarely succeed – I believe it has only worked once – and in this case came up short, 46-53. Our goal was to move key Senate targets, and that was highly successful. The majority of our targeted senators voted in favor of the CRA."
The campaign garnered several PR awards for having effectively fused search, social media and Google’s “click-to-call technology” into what its participants are now heralding as ”the next progression in technology in the lobbying business.”
However, in the case of ACCCE, MXM and their efforts to stop the regulation of deadly chemicals in our air, Google has shown no qualms about having engaged in the implementation of the campaign. Maybe it was too focused on the medium, and not enough on the message.