Herman Cain Uses SEM to Battle Sex Scandals

Herman Cain has turned to Google to combat the sex scandals that have recently plagued his run for the Republican nomination. Searches for “Herman Cain” and “Cain allegations” are now turning up paid ads for CainTruth.com.

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Similar display promos via Google AdSense are now turning up on publisher sites. As recently as last weekend, the Republican candidate’s camp hadn’t purchased search or online promotions that directly addressed the unfolding situation.

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Speaking with ClickZ on Nov. 4, Peter Pasi, EVP at Republican digital firm Emotive, said Cain should battle the sex scandals with paid messaging. “Any candidate should be running search any time there’s a scandal or their name is in the news, because a well executed search campaign allows them to appear above organic search results,” Pasi said.

Cain’s efforts mirror a strategy put forth by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Before that presidential election, ads from the Obama for America campaign turned up on searches for “Obama Muslim” and “Obama Ayers”, in reference to claims that the then-candidate for President is Muslim and he had connections to Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers.

“Barack Obama is a Christian. Get the facts at his official site,” read one ad. An Ayers-related message said, “Obama Ayers Connection? FightTheSmears.com/Obama Don’t Believe the Lies. Get Facts About Anti-Obama Swift Boating.”

Kate Kaye contributed.

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