Google Steps Up Incursion into US Print Advertising

13 February 2006

Google, increasingly conscious of Wall Street's hot breath on its neck, is seeking further ways of extending its advertising-led dominance beyond the internet and into traditional media.

It aims to introduce its highly successful dynamic online auction format into the enormous markets for print, radio and TV advertising.

Having invaded the cloistered world of print advertising last September [WAMN: 02-Sep-05], the search engine titan has now extended its print incursion via special advertiser auctions for space in twenty-eight US magazines.

Among the participating US titles scenting more ad dollars are Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Kids titles, Hachette Filipacchi's Ellegirl and Car and Driver, plus International Data Group's Computerworld.

The magazine-ad auction, which launched last week on Google's website, will run until February 20. According to Google's vp of advertising sales Tim Armstrong, the extended test will allow Google "to work on the product itself and continue to roll it out and look at the results over time."

Armstrong says that if the latest tests prove successful, print-ad buying will eventually be integrated as well. AdWords allows advertisers to bid on keywords, which Google uses to target ads to Web surfers, to set the price they will pay each time a consumer clicks on their ad.

"The hope here is we'll have an integrated format for advertisers and agencies... across multiple media," he said. "We know there's demand both from advertisers, agencies and publishers."

Google is hyping its scheme as a 'win-win' situation for all concerned. Media cynics, however, recall the last words of Philippides, who in 490 BC expired after running from Marathon to Athens with news of victory over the Persians: "Greetings. We won!"

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff