What a lovely complaint

Google is profiting from a practice banned in America in which brokers secretly reap millions of pounds from vulnerable people seeking treatment for addictive diseases in the UK.

Private rehab clinics advertise. Google takes the advertising money. This is a scandal.

Sarah Wollaston MP, who chairs the health select committee, called on Google to stop selling advertisements to referral agents.

Why in buggery are we paying this woman a salary?

19 thoughts on “What a lovely complaint”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Someone is outraged because Google is obeying the law?

    We can see the end goal of the pro-NHS Camp is to follow Canada and banning the alternatives.

  2. Dr Wollaston was originally selected through an open primary. She isn’t so much a Conservative as a left of centre Cameron-Clegg coalition candidate. Initially a Remainer, Wollaston purportedly switched after being seduced by Cameron with the promise of a ministerial position (local gossip). Theresa May wouldn’t touch the girl with a barge pole. Wollaston’s current pet project is to extort more cash from retired folk to top up her doctor-friends’ pensions.

  3. It’s not just Google Rehab, it’s Google ReferralCo Rehab.

    The complaint is about the referrals company, not Google. Give how irritating referrals companies are in other lines of business (esp. insurance claims), I can understand the willingness to wipe them from the face of the earth.

  4. Totnes is not the constituency; she represents the South Hams. Many of the good green Guardianistas in Totnes would never vote for an evil Tory, she gets her support from Brixham and the rural communities in between.

  5. If the problem is the companies who advertise then be an easy matter for government to ban those companies. If they are banned then they’d have to use alternate means of advertising, same way back street abortionists do now.

    Unless the problem is not as she says?

  6. People seek treatment for diseases, including “diseases” that are essentially just unwise behavior patterns. Brokers disseminate information and get paid. Stir well, serve crisis. Given that there is no problem, why is the remedy to muzzle the broker?

    It is illegal in some US states to counsel adjusting behaviors that the patient or parent has difficulty with, notably, “curing” homosexuality. It is illegal because the misbehaviors are in fashion in the legislature. Both abortion clinics, and health clinics oriented toward carrying a pregnancy to term, are facing attempts in various US states to turn them into propagandists for the opposite approach.

  7. “An undercover investigation by The Sunday Times has found that the internet giant charged the middlemen as much as £200 each time”

    I’m calling bullshit on this. £200 an ad? I used to run medical ads for someone and the most we got quoted was around £10/ad. Even “holiday” is only something like £50/ad and that’s highly competitive.

    Their video footage is hilarious. It’s just a wide boy bullshitting about services “when we sit down with Google”. Unless you’re a massive company spending millions on ads, you don’t “sit down with Google”.

  8. Sarah Wollaston is one of my most detested Conservative (ha, ha) MPs, she epitomises the nanny state and is a self-righteous harridan.

  9. Solid Steve 2: Squirrels of The Patriots

    Are there people who really get outraged by stuff like this, or is it all performative brow-furrowing?

  10. “Sarah Wollaston is one of my most detested Conservative (ha, ha) MPs, she epitomises the nanny state and is a self-righteous harridan.”

    It’s this sort of thing I’d throw back at Theo when he advocates supporting the Tory party at elections. He would say, better than the alternatives. But how? A party that hosts this woman is a party should be opposed, not supported.

  11. I wonder how long this distress would last if the government taxed it (no idea how). Things like this, like the Southern Trains “safety concerns”, have a habit of disappearing from “public concern” when the price is right.

  12. Their video footage is hilarious. It’s just a wide boy bullshitting about services “when we sit down with Google”

    I often sit down with Google, though sometimes I lie on the sofa.

  13. Wollaston is a Lib Dem statist. She should be sent packing to Deepest Darkest Africa to be barefoot in the surgery there, treating the benighted victims of Mugabe et al in her patronising Lady Bountiful fashion. Ghastly old slapper.

  14. The issue in the US is a bit more narrow than this summary suggests. Here, the target is widespread marketing misrepresentation by those referral agents. They claim to be unbiased parties working strictly for clients, but are really shills for one or a few (undisclosed) service providers. Their right to be misleading is hard to police — commercial speech and all — so Google decided to categorically ban them from the platform. Treatment providers can still advertise directly, and do.

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