Extra, Extra, Google Ads In The Papers

    January 9, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The Chicago Sun-Times emerged as the latest place to find Google print advertising, after it began its print experiments with a couple of tech magazines in 2005.

Dead-tree media calls unsold advertising areas in the paper as “remnant space,” but for the Sun-Times, Google has started filling that space in an understated way, AdAge reported.

Boxes of ads in the remnant space display “Ads by Google” at the top, with ads related to the content section where they are printed. The report cited an example of ads for ticket brokers and related businesses in the December 12, 2005 Sun-Times sports section.

Google provided its usual in-depth and comprehensive assessment of projects in discussing the test with the Sun-Times, as AdAge quoted a Google spokesman: “This limited test is part of Google’s continuing effort to develop new ways to provide effective and useful advertising to advertisers, publishers and users.”

Now the speculation begins. If the test proves successful, will Google look to other papers in other markets? How will publishers welcome that influx of advertising dollars, especially coming from the business that likely did the most to hurt their bottom lines in 2005?

The Sun-Times seems to be a fan, judging by this comment from the report:

“We were eager to help them shut us down,” joked Sun-Times Publisher John Cruickshank. “They’re buying ads. We like that.”

Publishers like Gannett, Tribune, or Knight-Ridder would welcome any new influx of advertising money. Knight-Ridder has been the focus of takeover targets for months, and there isn’t a likely scenario that has any of the big three publishers turning away revenue today.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.