Google Adds Radio Ads, After Print

Google's foray into radio advertising with yesterday's acquisition of radio ad distribution firm dMarc Broadcasting provides another medium for Google's search advertisers, in addition to its print ad test.

Google bought the privately held dMarc for $102 million in cash, plus contingency payments over three years. Google said it will integrate dMarc ad distribution technology into the Google AdWords platform. This follows the company's ad placements for its advertisers in the Chicago Sun-Times this month and speculation among search agencies that Google will get involved in television and other offline mediums.

“Google is committed to exploring new ways to extend targeted, measurable advertising to other forms of media,” Tim Armstrong, vice president of advertising sales at Google, said after the acquisition.

Radio advertising is just another medium for Google to extend its successful ad auction system, search marketing executives said.

“With 150,000 to 250,000 search advertisers, it would not be a leap to think that some percentage of these are also advertising on the radio, and perhaps they would be able to extend their reach or improve their buy-in clout through a Google auction for airtime,” said Fredrick Marckini, CEO of search marketing firm iProspect.

Marckini suspects Google will track its advertisers' radio ad effectiveness through pay-per-call tracking.

“Auctions … have already transcended Web pages, whether it is TV or print or other forms of advertising,” said Josh Stylman, managing partner at search marketing firm Reprise Media, New York.

Neither Stylman nor Marckini envision Google taking over the offline ad world, such as creating its own ad agency. Referring to its print ad test, Stylman doesn't think Google will replace newspaper ad agencies or ad salespeople.

“It is a way to supplement their ad sales force,” he said.

In addition to helping Google, the print ad project helps publishers and advertisers who normally would be unable to pay for an ad in a high-profile publication, Stylman said.

Ben Perry, director of paid search programs at iProspect, said Google's foray into radio and print will only benefit search advertisers.

“Radio and print are both awareness-driving mechanisms,” he said. “If [Google] can broker these kind of advertisements, the searcher ultimately goes online and clicks on one of their [print or radio] ads.”

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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