Google Print Ads

By Mainak Biswas July 19, 2007 - 1,042 views

Google has announced a new service today which allows its advertisers to publish print media ads from its adwords interface.

Here is how google says it will work:

Advertisers and agencies access Google Print Ads through the AdWords interface and interactively plan a targeted media buy-in up to hundreds of newspapers across the United States. Once they have identified target newspapers, they enter a bid for the available ad space and upload a creative. Newspaper publishers then view the bids, and either approve or reject them, with an option to provide direct feedback to the advertisers. Detailed reports and electronic tear-sheets provide accountability, and Google automates billing and payments for further transactional efficiency

Unfortunately this service is available for US advertisers only. I can’t seem to follow the reason or see the constraint which locked print ads to US based advertisers only. We can be organizations which has advertising dollars, and who want to advertise in local newspapers, why should we prevented from doing that? We would have been very happy if the service was available in India, not that we would use it but we will be happy to know that we can use it 😉

Another striking thing is that, aren’t newspapers supposed to have a standard rate card for purchasing ads? Given this and the fact that newspaper advertising is already declining (notice that the papers are thinner?), what benefit is there for the consumer to bid for ads when they can buy it at list price from the newspapers directly? The only way to force customer to bid is when Google has exclusive contracts with these newspapers which I think is not possible as it will lead to anti-trust. Clearly, a benefit to newspapers is that they can lower the buying rates based on the current inventory and thus they have better chances of 100% booking.

One more thing, Haven’t Google already killed or atleast seriously injured the newspaper advertising business? Why suddenly venture into non-internet based revenue model? It was the nemesis to newspaper advertising and this new model is bewildering!

I guess we will soon see more about how this story unfolds – my message to newspapers is simple – If you can’t beat em, join em!

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