Google scouting for print partners

3 Jan 2008

New media giant Google is now looking to old media to expand its advertising empire and is already in talks with several UK newspapers to sell print advertising space to its online clients, according to the Sunday Times.

While Google Print Ads is not entirely new – it is already linked up with hundreds of newspapers in the US – the news that the company hopes to bring this to Europe may not be entirely well-received given that Google shares fell on Monday by over US$11, at the same time the rumour broke.

Google Print Ads work by acting as an intermediate or agent between its clients who already use Google AdWords, and the print industry.

While not entirely auction-based, the service allows customers to suggest a price for one or more advertisements which is then reviewed and approved by publishers.

This method of placing advertisements may mean affordability and therefore more media exposure for smaller companies who previously were unable to access this market, thus proving a lucrative investment for Google.

In return for acting as a middleman, Google receives revenue for every single deal made through Print Ads.

Several media companies including ITV, whose chairman Michael Grade has in the past asked for greater regulation of Google, look upon this possible deal with apprehension.

If Google decides to go ahead with its expansion into the UK print market, it may not have to fear regulation given the Federal Trade Commission approved of its acquisition of DoubleClick for a staggering US$3.1bn.

While Google is rumoured to be in talks with UK papers there have been no reports of similar talks with Irish-based or other European publications.

By Marie Boran