This past Thursday, we (along with the Shopfloor blog), shed some light on a startlingly pro-union Google ad being placed by the union-controlled National Labor Relations Board that stated:
“Find Info on How to Start a Union
Get the Process & More on Our Site!“
A day later, on Friday, the National Labor Relations Board posted what appears to be its first-ever “Fact Check” that stated the following:
This feature encourages accuracy in the media by correcting common misperceptions and errors of fact when they are brought to our attention.
It has been reported that the NLRB spent Agency funds on Google ads. An initial review indicates that the ads were provided at no charge beginning in 2008 by Google. The Agency has decided to discontinue them.
Now that the NLRB has taken it upon itself to correct the record by stating the ads were free from Google, it would be remiss if an acknowledgement that the previous assumptions were wrong.
You see, it was just assumed that an agency of the federal government would not accept services and/or products from a company, let alone a company with a CEO with such a tight relationship with the White House. Never in a million years would it have been guessed that the NLRB was getting its ads for free from Google—those same type of ads for which the private-sector pays handsomely.
Now, without a law degree (although Holiday Inn Express is like a second home), it is unknown whether a private-sector company like Google is legally allowed to provide free ads to an agency of the federal government, or whether it is permitted for an agency of the federal government to accept free services without violating a certain law (or two). That would be something for lawyers and, perhaps, Congressional committees to decide.
However, it would be interesting to know:
- Who wrote the ad on “How to Start a Union”
- What the total value of the free advertising was
- When the NLRB began accepting free advertising from Google
- How many other agencies are getting free advertising from Google
- Whether Google is getting any other form of recompense or favorable treatment for its free advertising
These would be just a few of the questions that could possibly be derived now that the NLRB has issued its “fact check” divulging that its advertisements on Google were free.
As Ben Smith noted on Politico: Among the curious things about this: Google, serving as volunteer labor booster in this instance, is not exactly a union shop.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776