Google, Omnicom aim to transform display ads

16 July 2010

NEW YORK: Google, the online giant, has announced a new partnership with the Omnicom Media Group, in a move that could enhance the way both companies approach internet display advertising.

Under the terms of the agreement, Omnicom's planning and buying arm is expected to direct considerable resources into formats like banners, skyscrapers and video on behalf of its clients.

Alongside offering detailed analytics, Google will establish a global "trading desk" enabling OMG to quickly purchase inventory across the enormous range of sites featured over its network.

This alliance, which is not exclusive on either side, is argued to constitute a step towards creating an exchange system that runs in real-time.

"We are firm believers that the buying platforms are the future of the media business," Daryl Simm, chief executive of Omnicom Media Group Worldwide, said.

"They require ever-better technology. Google is going to provide us with a great benefit in co-developing this."

Further advantages for Omnicom, which lists PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch InBev on its current roster, include cheaper rates on large volume purchases, and in-depth breakdowns of the performance of ads.

"All commitments that we make are backed up by client strategy, client recommendations and client agreements," Simm continued.

"We believe that the benefits that come forward from the deal are going to be very attractive. That is the way we have to operate and the basis of any media vendor deal we operate."

Google has been focusing on improving its display service in the recent past, with targeted ads based on the previous browsing habits of consumers a specific area of focus.

"We've turned the engineering fire hose at Google toward display advertising," said Neal Mohan, a Google vice president for product management. "This is really another milestone in our investment."

However, Michael Brunick, vp, technology at Cadreon, owned by Interpublic Group, expressed some concerns about the potential gains this tie-up would generate for Omnicom's customers.

"If you get in deeper with Google, then someone like Microsoft might be less likely to work with you, or Yahoo might be less likely to work with you," he said.

"Ultimately, we want everything we buy to be in the best interest of the campaign. If you are stuck filling a commitment, that may or may not be in the client's best interest."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff