Google Reselling Print Ads - WTF?

Source Title:
Google takes ad sales to print
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Admittedly I've only given this about 45secs thought, but i can't see why Google would want to broker ad space in print media. When i was doing advertising, many years back, this was frowned on by many publshers - either they sold the ads, or nobody sold them. But it appears that Google have been buying full page ad space, and quartering it up to resell to its clients.

Apart from not being the most profitable model (i really can't see this at all), it's just WEIRD.

Anyone have a good take on WTF these loons are up to now?


How bizarre

Desperate money grab or clever strategy - who knows? :O)

I must say that print advertising still works (done correctly) and many people would like the convenience of uploading their creative in one place and selecting preferences like publication etc from a menu. Central billing is also appealing. I would want lots of info in the control panel about demographics, circulation, etc, plus you do not seem to get to choose position in the publications. Most interesting to me would be how they are going to work the tracking/ROI angle that people coming from online would demand..

bizarre not the word

perhaps they're trying to fund a creative dept and will then use their skills to expand online ads into banner creation, popups (!) and one page advertorials? We speculated over at SG at the beginning of the year about where Google might be headed and one of the suggestions was a BT style ISP/web design package - those £49 templated website deals - there's a sort of synergy there if they get in some design hacks to handly all the design media stuff....

I don't think selling ad

I don't think selling ad pages to agencies is that uncommon, these days - even in my day, most sellers would not be too fussy who bought, or what they did with it (subject to a few 'house rules'), so long as they paid a fair price.

Google is increasingly looking to provide the 'whole deal' to advertisers, and this is a fairly logical step - especially if the page is top'n'tailed with a Google message.

How long before they buy print agency or even a print publisher?

The broker model is actually

The broker model is actually quite common in the states, especially for those properties that are quite expensive.

A broker can buy 52 full page ads in the NY Times at a very substantial discount from the rate card. After the space is split the broker can offer a discount to a smaller advertisers and still make a profit.

As to what these loons are up to, that's anybody's guess. Gurtie's suggestions sound neat, but I think in some ways credit Google with a bit more foresight and planning then we are used to seeing. We're all used to G's product and service introductions being a bit, shall we say, disjointed, with no clear, cohesive path. Maybe the ad folks have a better handle on what strategy they want to follow than the engineering side.

Haven't seen the hard copy version as yet, the online ad version includes tracking urls through google syndication. The smarter advertisers are of course using trackable type-in urls.


I can't fathom why they'd want to enter this realm. It seems Google is coming up with something new everyday that they have little to no experience. I can't figure out if they are geniuses plotting to take over the media world, or idiots who think they can do more than they are capable of.

Whatever the case is, they still have a lot of half ass projects still in beta (froogle, local, mail) and a search engine getting considerably worse. Just seems like resources aren't going where they should.

Google only play dumb

>> credit Google with a bit more foresight and planning then we are used to seeing

actually I think Goog have a masterplan and I think they're pretty clever about getting 90% there without people joining up the dots. Perhaps I'm crediting them with too much but whatever my critisisms of some aspects of what google do I'd never call their main business direction either uninformed or stupid. Macheavelian perhaps :)

It fits...

... with the current Mission Statement: To organize the world's advertising. ;-)


...and "pretty clever about getting 90% there without people joining up the dots"

Yeah, I can buy that. There are those people who, for want of a better phrase, you could call "creatively insane." Their actions appear to be disjointed, you can never see how the pieces relate to each other, never mind come together come togehter. When they do, it's absolutely brilliant.

too much money

Diversification. Stealing large accounts / eliminating agencies. Hedging bets that YP and other offline spending will be redirected to PPC. If you were an agency reselling PPC management services to a big company, think of all the angles you would pitch to keep the account. Slice by slice G is eatng that pie, including the slice that says "we already handle your print media, insertions, creative..."

It's just what they do

Come on, how can this be a surprise to anyone, exept those myopic types that still think Google is a search engine...

Google is an ad agency, and has been so for a long time. It's the world's largest ad agency. Selling ads is what they do. For a living.

Even the searchengine is just for the ad inventory (oh, and perhaps a little bit for goodwill and because the founders like to play with the thought of actually doing something useful)

When they do, it's absolutely brilliant ...

still waiting

Om Malik has some very good

Om Malik has some very good insight on this in "Guessing Google’s VoIP Plan"

Since the story first made the rounds, a few new developments. Google released Google Talk, its voice-enabled IM client based on Jabber platform. And earlier this week there was news that Google was experimenting with selling offline ads. Yannick Laclau, discovered something interesting in an article about AHS systems, the company featured in the Google experimental ads.

“It’s a lot of exposure for cheap,” he said, adding that Google is “doing a ton of tracking on this. They’re using their own 1-800 numbers on this, and it forwards to our line.” The Internet addresses of the online versions of the ads also redirect traffic through Google servers.

As I hinted earlier, this is a pay-per-call model that could be the “VoIP” play for Google.

read the full post for more detail - it certainly sounds convincing...

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