Net surfers searching for the word 'sex' using Google might well expect to be presented with a variety of 'interesting' sponsored links, but it's unlikely that they would anticipate seeing an ad for services from Telstra, which remains 51 per cent owned by a government which introduced a policy of censoring inappropriate (read smutty) online content.
However, that's exactly what can happen.
A Telstra spokesperson confirmed that the telco had purchased keyword ads on Google based on each of the 9500 titles currently available on fetchmemovies, launched in January and modelled on successful US services such as NetFlix. One of the titles featured is Sex: The Annabel Chong Story, the infamous 1999 documentary about one woman's attempt to break a world record by having sex with 251 men. As a result, searching for sex may well lead directly to Telstra.
Because of (ahem) stiff competition to purchase the 'sex' keyword, the text ad does not appear consistently. Other companies attempting to test the theory that sex sells and rubbing shoulders with Telstra in Google's text advertising list include NudistFriendFinder, meet2cheat.com.au, Men4SexNow.com and a variety of adult video sites.
The Telstra spokesperson emphasised that the company had not specifically requested a link to the word 'sex', but had purchased advertisement links for its entire library of titles.