But I thought Google was against evil

I don't know if you noticed that I prefer credit unions to banks? This might come across subtley in my blog posts from time to time. So imagine my chagrin as I'm reading an article in Marketing Magazine about Canada's largest bank, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) taking advantage of a new map advertising service being offered by Google.

Here's an exerpt from the article:

RBC puts itself on the map

RBC has placed its brand name in front of consumers who use online, in-car and mobile navigation systems, becoming the first Canadian financial company to do so.

Users of applications such as Google Maps will find the RBC icon indicating bank branch and automated teller locations when searching by name or by category—such as “financial institutions”—for a given area.

The development applies to both RBC Royal Bank in Canada and RBC Centura Bank in the United States.

The RBC icons will begin appearing in online map applications as those systems update their maps over the next few months.

Yikes. Come on Larry and Sergey, so it ain't so. You mean to tell me that Google is now going to sell virtual real estate to the highest bidder, even if that highest bidder is a big bank? Is nothing sacred? I thought you guys were against evil?

This is actually a pretty innovative idea that I wish the credit unions of Canada and US jumped at first. Oh well, just one more thing to fuel my dislike for those cagey big banks.

I am unclear if credit unions that are using the Google Map API, like we do on the Credit Unions of BC website, will have the RBC logo start appearing all over their maps as well. It sounds like you will have to initiate a specific search, but I'll have to check into this further.

Tim