Google Advertisers Can Buy Magazine Ads

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Google's limited test of placing print ads for advertisers was successful enough for the company to roll out an ad auction test with certain magazines yesterday. Google said advertisers can bid on ad space in 28 magazines including Martha Stewart Living, Women's Health, ELLEgirl, Information Week and Car and Driver.

"In this test, the control is in your hands: You choose the ad size, set your price, and decide how you'd like to use the space," according to information on Google's site.

Google's move could have a major impact on how ads are bought and sold because the program is an auction system, instead of ad rates set by publishers, and Google is acting as an ad agency, working with advertisers on ad creative.

Google is calling for AdWords advertisers to submit bids on quarter-, half- and full-page ads in the print magazines by Feb. 20. After that date, AdWords advertisers' bids will compete against other advertisers' bids. The magazine ad auction system works the same as Google's paid AdWords program, according to Google's "Inside AdWords" blog.

"You'll never pay more than the maximum price you set, and you may end up paying even less," the blog said.

Here's where Google's ad agency role comes in: Google says it will contact the winning bidders by March 6 and work with them to "deliver print-ready ads to the relevant publishers." In addition to print, Google wants to delve into other forms of offline advertising, indicated by its acquisition of radio ad distribution firm dMarc Broadcasting earlier this year.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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