Lay’s Legal Team Turns To P.R. Campaign (They Can Afford It)

from Houston Chronicle: Ken Lay is a 21st century defendant, and he’s willing to pay up to 12 cents every time somebody figures that out.
Not only is he telling his side of things on his own Web site, but he’s paying to make sure major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and AOL list his site first when you search for his name, Enron and related terms.
The former chairman’s computer-literate litigation team is making use of “sponsored links,” which appear prominently in searches for a word or name in an Internet search engine. It’s one of the ways the search engines make money and one of the ways Web sites can be sure they’ll be noticed.
The cost for Lay and others depends on two things: how many people actually look at his Web site and how many other sites want to be seen in connection with the same keywords.
Put the search words “Enron scandal” or “Ken Lay,” or even this Enron reporter’s name, “Mary Flood,” into any of the above search engines and one of the first things you will see is If you hit on Lay’s Web site from there, then Lay pays between roughly 5 cents and 12 cents.
“I want people to understand Ken Lay’s position. I said that if we were going to do a Web site at all, do it so people can find it,” said Lay’s Houston lawyer Mike Ramsey.
Marketing experts say it’s a smart move.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.