Surely Google, the denizen of word of mouth marketing and customer-centricity, hasn’t turned to cold calling to help it recruit clients?

Search Engine Roundtable has linked to a Webmaster World post that claims the web giant’s Chicago office has been using automated calls to sell ads.

The poster explains: “I pick up the phone and the message was slightly cut off the first time: ‘Please press 1 if you spend less than $5,000 per month, Please press 2 if you have the budget to spend $5,000 or more per month and are interested in our Premium Services. Please press 3 if you are interested in job opportunities.’”

After taking the second option, the poster claims to have been put through to a voicemail box at the Chicago office, and then to have received a call back from Google.

Google has yet to comment.