The NY Post reports:
There’s a below-the-radar war being waged in the Republican race for mayor — on Google.
Candidates John Catsimatidis and Joe Lhota have slammed each in other in sophisticated new digitial ads posted on the ubiquitous Web search engine, The Post has learned.
The supermarket mogul’s campaign bought the phrase “Lhota Raised Tolls/Fares” on Google. Anyone typing in Lhota’s name will find an ad that links to Cats2013.com, Catsimatidis’ campaign site.
But Catsimatidis said he launched his Internet offensive only after getting jabbed first by Lhota’s digital drive.
“We didn’t start this. We’ll probably keep it up for a while,” said Catsimatidis spokesman Rob Ryan.
“At least our Google ad is based on fact. Joe Lhota did raise your tolls and fares.”
The Lhota campaign had earlier posted its own Google ads with the heading “Catsimatidis: Bad for NYC — Joe will get NYC back on track.”
The Lhota campaign leveled an identical attack against another GOP candidate, George McDonald, founder of the Doe Fund.
When McDonald became aware that Lhota’s campaign attacked him as “Bad for NYC,” he complained to Lhota personally.
Lhota responded that he wasn’t aware of the ad and did not personally authorize it, and immediately ordered it taken down.
The Lhota campaign confirmed the Google hits on his rivals were mistakes.
“There was a miscommunication with our Internet people. We have taken [the ads] down immediately. Joe was not aware of it,” said Lhota spokeswoman Jessica Proud.