Google Australia: Not evil, just uncomfortable

Summary:Opportunities to quiz an executive from search giant Google in person come few and far between. That's why when I attended the launch of Google's new Australian office last week there was only one question on my mind.

Opportunities to quiz an executive from search giant Google in person come few and far between.

That's why when I attended the launch of Google's new Australian office last week there was only one question on my mind. It related to Google's famous informal corporate motto: "Don't be evil".

As Google Australia's executive team fielded questions from the press I knew my opportunity had come.

      Kate Vale

"Have you guys done anything evil in Australia yet?" I asked as the room erupted into laughter.

Google Australia's head of sales and operations, Kate Vale, looked confused and asked me to repeat the question.

"Never, we do no evil," was her eventual reply.

While I'm obviously not privy to secrets held close to the chests of Google's Australian crew, Vale could be right.

Google Australia's main activities seem to consist of quietly gathering Web site traffic, selling ads and building more functionality into its Google Maps product.

But it wasn't all easy street for Vale during the press visit.

At one point her singing skills were publicly outed as Google played a kitschy promotional video of employees around the world singing a version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

Photos from Google's offices

As Google's Australian staff put in a brief cameo on the video, Vale and her engineering counterpart Lars Rasmussen looked distinctly uncomfortable on the other side of the stage.

It appears that despite the massive amount of hype surrounding Google, the company is not immune from a plague that has troubled the best of corporate giants -- bad marketing videos.

Topics: Google, Browser

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