NEW YORK: Following last month's declaration of hostilities between the US Association of National Advertisers and the Google-Yahoo alliance, Google's president of advertising and commerce for North America has called for an 'open town hall' meeting with the ANA.
Says the search giant's Tim Armstrong: "Let's talk about the deal in public ... that's one of the things we're hoping the ANA will get behind. They're great customers of ours, and we'd love to have them understand the deal better."
According to Armstrong most ANA members are customers of Google and Yahoo. However, there are "definitely varied levels of understanding" of the proposed joint search-ad system among the ANA's members.
That body's opposition to the intended alliance is based on concerns about its long-term effects, especially its potential to raise prices and stifle competition in the search space.
Armstrong, however, attributes ANA member's hostile stance to bruised egos – although he was careful not to use that term.
Their wariness, he said, might also relate to Google's auction system, which treats all advertisers equally, regardless of their size or spending power.
This was something ANA members – mainly larger marketers accustomed to leveraging their media muscle – might not like.
"A lot of companies are used to having pricing power over smaller companies and sometimes the support or non-support for a deal has nothing to do with whether it's Google or Yahoo or the internet," Armstrong avers.
The ANA's response to Google's pacification overtures is not yet known.
Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff