Google Inc. is giving up on selling print ads for the ailing newspaper industry, ending a 2-year-old attempt to extend its dominance of Internet marketing into another medium.
The retrenchment announced Tuesday is part of a cost-cutting campaign aimed at boosting Google's profits as the deepening recession eats away at Google's bread-and-butter business of selling ads on its own Web site and thousands of other Internet destinations.
Emboldened by its online success, Google set out in November 2006 to help newspapers that have seen their revenue evaporate as more advertisers shifted their spending to the Internet to connect with the Web's growing audience.
Under the program, potential advertisers were allowed to bid online to fill unsold space in the participating newspapers, leaving it up to publishers whether to accept the offers.
But Mountain View, Calif.-based Google concluded that its online expertise wasn't paying off in print, prompting management to pull the plug on its newspaper program effective Feb. 28.
Funny to listen to confused print media people try to explain what happened. The most telling reaction is from McClatchy VP of advertising, Stephen Bernard. Bernard blames advertisers for not understanding newspaper ads.
The effort likely failed because Google never broadened it beyond its existing base of large advertisers, Bernard said. "I don't think (those advertisers) understood the print product," he said.
Uh, they did understand the newspaper product -- fewer people read newspapers which means ads in newspapers have less value. The ad people know the changes in the marketplace better than the overpaid execs at McClatchy.
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