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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Google and Print Advertising Sales

Google has been quietly testing the waters in the traditional marketing arena by getting their hands into ad sales for more "traditional" media such as magazines like PC Magazine and Maximum PC.

What Google has done is bought full page ads in those magazines and then resold the space - cut into quarters or fifths - to users of it's Adwords program.

"We were approached by Google two and a half months ago, telling us that they were starting this print advertising campaign," Michael Keen, president of Inksite, one of the five advertisers in PC Magazine, said Monday. "Because we had been one of their AdWords advertisers, they thought we would be a good candidate to try their new advertising" effort.

"Google's been working to add more oomph to its creative for a while. Clearly they have a desire to offer more to advertisers than just a text link," said Tim Hanlon, senior vice president of emerging contacts at ad agency Publicis Groupe.

"Google has shown that big media companies don't have to be part of the mix at all," Hanlon said. "People can just get the content and ads directly from an uber-intermediary. That's caught a lot of traditional ad types off guard."

Yet the latest move toward the print ad business has some financial analysts frowning.

"I would be surprised and somewhat disappointed if they were to spend a lot of money and resources on a print advertising unit," said Safa Rashtchy, senior Internet analyst at Piper Jaffray. "My guess is it is just an experiment."

More info at ZDNet.

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