French politicians are becoming increasingly web savvy and opportunistic. Web agency L’enchanteur des nouveaux media (the new media charmer/wizard) is running a Google adwords campaign with keywords related to the Paris riots. When typing “voitures brulees” (burned cars), “emeutes + paris” (riots + paris) or “racaille + banlieue” (scums/yobs + suburbs) on Google.fr, a sponsored link brings you to the official website of the UMP, the majority political party headed by Interior Minister (and unofficial presidential candidate) Nicolas Sarkozy. There you are invited to sign a petition pledging support to Nicolas Sarkozy’s handling of the situation.
According to a ZDNet article (in French), the online petition had 12,000 visitors and 3,000 signatories within 2 days. Average click rate reach 10% to 15%.