Wilson Outburst Creates Online Ad Bonanza

Posted September 15, 2009 at 4:40pm

Even as South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson was apologizing to the White House for shouting “You lie!” at President Obama last week, his campaign team was thinking ahead to what the online benefits might be.

The Wilson campaign purchased online ads to appear with Google searches of Wilson’s name “within hours” of the speech, Google spokesman Galen Panger said, and Wilson’s 2010 Democratic opponent Rob Miller bought Google ads to appear with the same search soon after.

“It was one of the fastest turnarounds we’ve seen on a rapid response campaign,” said Panger.

Both men also have obtained the most prominently featured ad spots connected to searches for Rob Miller’s name. And Wilson has begun running ads on the search terms “Obama speech.” In the D.C. market the ad, entitled “Joe Wilson Under Attack,” is the top sponsored link to appear above the search results, routing readers back to Wilson’s campaign Web site and a video of Wilson criticizing Democratic attempts to officially scold him.

The resolution of disapproval was adopted on a largely party-line vote Tuesday afternoon.