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Is Google ready to rumble with the ad industry?

Google is preparing to take on Madison Avenue, according to articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that caught the attention of bloggers this weekend.

Google ads

The piece in the Times discusses Google's plans to replace "creative salesmanship with cold number-crunching" and extend its reach beyond the Web onto magazine and television ad sales. The Journal story says Google's moves have unnerved media-buying executives.

While Google's ambitions haven't exactly been a secret, the appearance of two stories--as well as Google's willingness to talk publicly about its plans--fueled suspicion in the minds of some bloggers. Was this Google's way of giving a heads-up to the advertising industry that the game is on?

Blog community response:

"This piece in the NYT was clearly written with Google's open approval, and that means one thing: Google is using the Times to talk with the folks on Madison Ave--and Wall St. And I have no doubt those folks are reading--closely. Though the issues of data privacy and Google's opaqueness are addressed, it still reads as something of a valentine. But with numbers like Google has, it's hard to see how it wouldn't be."
--John Battelle's Searchblog

"Google's TV plans aren't based on the traditional business but on the increasingly digital, interactive environment. It's all about the targeting. When you think about it this way, Google's interest in working with Comcast--also headed in this direction via a deal with TiVo and other efforts--on an AOL deal makes even more sense."
--PaidContent.org

"These stories did not appear by accident. Seeing both the NY Times and the WSJ publish such similar pieces within hours of each other suggests pretty clearly that Google 'gave' them this story--and that means Google is putting Madison Avenue on notice. It's Google's way of telling Madison Avenue that they're serious about this, and seeing how the advertising industry reacts."
--TechDirt