It seems TV3 has decided to promote a marriage between John Key and Winston Peters this week.
They appear to be paying for ads on Google that come up when you search for “John Key” or for “Winston Peters“, but not for other leaders like Helen Clark or Jeanette Fitzsimons. What’s more, when you click on TV3’s “Decision08” ad links, you are helpfully redirected to Key’s and Peter’s party pages (you can try it with the links above).
I’ve searched “John Key” twenty times and TV3’s ad comes up every time. I’ve searched “Helen Clark” the same number of times and TV3’s ad hasn’t come up yet.
TVNZ is running similar ads, but they’re promoting their site rather than particular candidates or parties – when you click on TVNZ’s ads, you get the home page for their site rather than the candidate or party relating to your search terms.
I can understand a media organisation seeking to promote their election website, but what TV3 is actually doing is promoting selected candidates and parties. That is simply wrong.