Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Google Ends Sale of Ads in Papers After 2 Years

Print advertising must be dying if Google can't sell its ads. And while old media is clearly not Google's expertise, you would think that they would be able to build a connection between digital and print and use that synergy to augment the sales process. But unfortunately, the experiment was a bust. “'While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we — or our partners — wanted,' wrote Spencer Spinnell, director of Google Print Ads, on an official corporate blog."

For Google, it means stick with what you do best; for print, it may simply spell disaster.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Andy:

    I participated in Google's test of the print ad sales initiative while I was head of marketing at Starz Entertainment's advanced services unit. As a buyer of media on all platforms, the Google solution worked well for me, my marketing team and my company. Its key strengths were:

    -simplifying the print ad buying process (no more negotiating with and trafficking ads to individual papers or chains)

    -shifting pricing power to the advertiser

    Of course, even Google wasn't able to fix the inherent problems with newspaper advertising (accurate performance tracking, long lead times, spotty ad inventory, placement control, shrinking audience and aging demographics), so it is not a complete surprise to learn that the company is abandoning the category.

    Many newspapers refused to opt-in to the network for fear of inventory commoditization across the paper; The smart ones joined knowing commoditization was coming no matter what.

    As a newspaper lover, I am very sad to see the rapid decline in the business. As a marketer who needs to show a predictable return on every dollar invested in customer acquisition, engagement and retention, I see a day in the very near future where print newspapers fall out of media buys completely.