Internet behemoth Google, usually at the cutting edge of advertising technology, has gone retro in a test venture with a US newspaper.

California-headquartered Google is buying up leftover advertising space in the Chicago Sun-Times daily in a bid, it says, "to develop new ways to provide effective and useful advertising to advertisers, publishers and users".

The spaces, which would normally be filled by the paper's own 'house ads', are currently home to Google ads promoting, for example, ticket brokers, baseball and American football apparel in the sports section.

Although it appears the Sun-Times is dancing with the devil as Google makes bigger inroads into traditional classified ads revenue, the paper appears comfortable with its partner.

Comments publisher John Cruickshank: "They're buying ads. We like that."

And ad industry consultant Jim Townsend explains what's in it for the search engine: "Google doesn't have the sort of local sales force that newspapers have. Newspapers still have a more concentrated local reach."

The advertisers chosen to take part in the test are also happy with the results.

A spokeswoman for MPI Home Video, whose ad for a football DVD appeared in the Sun-Times, said sales increased about 50% after the print promotion. However, that figure may have been boosted by the team's successful season and a larger marketing push.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff