MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Google is to extend its service that enables online marketers to place ads in newspapers across the USA. This follows a success-ful 50-title pilot of Print Ads, launched last fall.

The world's biggest online search engine says the service will now cover 225 of the nation's major newspapers - equivalent to half of all US circulation reaching almost 30 million subscribers.

Included in the program are the New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.

Print Ads allows agencies and their clients to bid for ad space inventory. The newspapers then decide whether to accept advertiser offers, after which they deal with placing the ads while Google handles billings.

Comments Todd Haskell, New York Times vp of business development for advertising: "Google Print Ads has brought in new advertisers who were either too small to consider advertising in a national newspaper or who hadn't tried print advertising because their business was largely online."

Typical of these clients is EHealth, an online health insurance provider who went back to newspaper advertising after five years, tempted by a more efficient buying process and lower rates.

Since November it has placed $250,000 (€180k; £121k) of ads in papers in 15 cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Says Bruce Telkamp, the company's svp of marketing: "The overall goal is to have print newspapers become a viable new marketing channel for us for years to come."

Smita Hashim, group product manager for Print Ads, said customers were beginning to test ad campaigns across different markets and shift spending where it was most effective.

  • Meantime, Google executives face grillings by US lawmakers as they examine the search giant's proposed £3.1 billion acquisition of online advertising firm DoubleClick.

    The deal is already under antitrust scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission and pressure is mounting on the European Commission for a similar probe [WARC News: 04-Jul-07].

    A subcommittee of the US Senate Judiciary Committee is to call a hearing to examine the ramifications of the antitrust and privacy issues in the Google deal and in recent consolidation moves among online advertising businesses. These include Microsoft's proposed acquisition of aQuantive and Yahoo's deal with Right Media.

    Data sourced from Adweek (USA) and New York Times; additional content by WARC staff