If there’s one thing a healthy business loves, it’s publicity. That is, when said publicity paints their activities in a positive light. With recent revelations regarding the much-hyped Google Barges moored in the San Francisco bay, the company finds itself on the less than favorable end of a PR stunt gone awry.
According to a confidential budget report obtained by the San Francisco chronicle, each of the three barges belonging to the international tech superstar are intended to be a “floating retail store” that will likely be docked in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York respectively. The massive ships are expected to proffer Google Glass next year when the product launches, along with other hot tech items of the company’s creation.
But the surreptitious nature of the project is likely due to the controversy such a prospect would elicit with local commercial authorities. Larry Goldzband of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission believes that “a floating retail store that is not a bay-oriented enterprise would probably make a lot of jaws drop at a commission meeting.” The agency has received notifications of construction from the tech giant multiple times in recent weeks, but with no details as to their intended purpose.
The project will likely need to get sailing shortly in order to avoid roadblocks caused by anxious authorities. “The public needs to know what Google is doing,” said Goldzband, clearly nonplussed by Google documents submitted to the Port of San Francisco promoting the barges as “curious and visually stunning” with sails “reminiscent of fish fins.”
So profoundly cautious is the reaction to the revelations that an investigative probe has been launched into the construction of the ships. Google informed Goldzband’s organization recently that the company is in the process of making changes to the design of the vessels requested by the US Coast Guard, but the bay area authority will likely seek further verification of legal compliance.
Time will tell if Google can parlay this press into the razzle and dazzle they intend with the artistic endeavor. But if growing concerns over the privacy issues of their featured product are any indication, the company has a lot of waterproofing to do in order to win over critics.
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