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Sun May 26, 2019, 08:46 PM

Google reverses course after barring Elk Foundation Ad

(Darn, at least Google tries to have a heart. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is really big and growing all the time).


Google Inc. reversed course Friday and said it had erred when rejecting an advertisement from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Google initially concluded that a video from the foundation violated the company’s prohibitions against ads promoting animal cruelty.

The technology giant’s reversal came on the heels of a May 3 letter to Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai from U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont.

The letter from Daines and Gianforte demanded that Google cease prohibitions against ads demonstrating hunting practices, a stance tied to Google’s position that such ads promote animal cruelty.

“While Montana has a rich history in natural resources, nothing in the Treasure State is as deeply rooted in our heritage as hunting and a love of the great outdoors,” the letter stated.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., also protested Google’s decision.

On Tuesday, the Missoula-based Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation thanked Daines and Gianforte for responding so quickly Friday after the foundation alerted them of Google’s rejection on April 25 of the advertisement — a paid ad featuring a short hunting video.

A Tuesday news release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation also noted Tester reached out to Google on the foundation’s behalf.

Google had initially explained the ad was “deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network” because “any promotions about hunting practices, even when they are intended as a healthy method of population control and/or conservation, is considered as animal cruelty...”

As of Tuesday, neither Daines nor Gianforte had heard back from Pichai.

Julia Doyle, a spokeswoman for Daines, said the senator is pleased Google reacted by restoring the ad.

“While they thankfully reversed course of action, the senator is still pushing for a formal response,” Doyle said.

Travis Hall, a spokesman for Gianforte, said the Congressman “looks forward to hearing from Google about meeting with Mr. Pichai and company officials to address the importance of Montana’s and our nation’s rich hunting and conservation heritage.”

Mark Holyoak, director of communication for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said the organization has a long history of advertising with Google and was surprised by the rejection last month.

The 8-minute video that Google initially barred features Nancy Hadley, an Idaho native who is on the foundation’s board, hunting for elk in New Mexico. Hadley, who ends up shooting a bull elk, describes during the video the influence of her late father, who took her hunting at an early age and instilled, she says, a lasting commitment to conservation.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation said its membership is “nearly 235,000 strong” and that the organization has conserved more than 7.4 million acres for elk and other wildlife.

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Reply Google reverses course after barring Elk Foundation Ad (Original post)
Beringia May 2019 OP
CurtEastPoint May 2019 #1
Beringia May 2019 #2
sinkingfeeling May 2019 #3
Beringia May 2019 #4

Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:20 PM

1. If Google persisted, Gianforte could have just gone in and beaten them up, right?

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:28 PM

2. I had to look that up. Threw a reporter to the ground. I also read he is a creationist.

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Response to Beringia (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:54 PM

3. If this group has "conserved more than 7.4 million acres", why

haven't I ever heard of them? I'm a member of many conservation groups like Sierra Club, NWF, Friends of the Earth, EDF, and NRDC.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2019, 10:03 PM

4. I don't know about the conservation angle

I know their interest is growing elk populations and reintroducing them to all 49 states (or maybe just states that could accommodate elk) specifically for hunting opportunities.

RMEF worked alongside scores of conservation partners over the years including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), state wildlife agencies and other organizations to complete 249 access projects in 23 different states with wild, free-ranging elk populations.


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