Google is “arrogant” and the industry should “be braver” and “not spend money with them”, according to Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs.
The airline’s chief marketing officer told industry leaders: “The lack of bravery in the travel business confounds me. Everyone just keeps putting money into the Google machine. Marketers in travel should be smarter.”
He insisted: “I spend not one cent with Google.”
Jacobs told a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast: “Google is on thin ice. If you search Google on your phone right now for the Ryanair site you’ll get eDreams and Opodo masquerading as Ryanair.
“It’s nonsense and Google needs to be called out. It’s only a matter of time before a court in Europe acts and it could have massive implications for the Google business model. Google is going to have to get its house in order.
“The German courts are leading the way. Courts in Hamburg and Berlin have made decisions against Google and we’ve got a case pending in the High Court in Ireland.”
Jacobs claimed: “They’re arrogant. You talk to Google about this and it’s like ‘It’s not us, it’s the Wizard of Oz’. It’s like it’s a religion and you can’t question it.
“But it’s not, it’s an algorithm. It’s coded in such a way as to maximise money for Google.”
He insisted: “Everyone just accepts it and says ‘Yeah, but what are you going to do?’ What you can do is don’t spend any money with them. Don’t depend on them for your traffic.”
Jacobs added: “I put in ‘Thai food’ in Google on my phone last night in London and in the first 10 paid results there was no Thai restaurant. Google is overcommercialising the results.”