Google, the search giant and would-be multi-media advertising enabler, has opened up the bidding on its much-talked-about print venture. AdWords advertisers can now bid for 1 page, 1/2 page and 1/4 page ads in nearly 30 different lifestyle and technology magazines.
The test's purpose, the company says on its site, is to assess AdWords advertisers' demand for space in print publications. Google began a limited test of the service with select advertisers in August.
Titles involved include Hachette Filipacchi books like "Car and Driver" and "Ellegirl;" Future Publishing titles like "Pregnancy" and "Women's Health and Fitness;" and Martha Stewart Omnimedia's "Martha Stewart Kids" and "Martha Stewart Living." For each publication, Google provides data on circulation, ratio of males to females, percentage of college educated readers, average age of reader, and average household income.
"We've been conducting a series of early phase tests to determine how we could bring additional value to print advertising. We are continuing to experiment in this area and are now testing the application of an auction model to print media," the company said in a statement.
Advertisers who wish to participate must submit bids by February 20, and may have their ads included in issues appearing over the summer and fall of 2006.
Similar to Google's AdWords auction process, the company will automatically "discount" bids, so that the winning bidder pays not his maximum bid, but only enough to outbid the next-highest bidder. The company isn't detailing creative specifications, but will send the information to the winning bidders.
Google's experimentation with print has been watched closely over the past several months, as the company seeks to exploit its technology and large advertiser base over a variety of media. The company has also made big moves in radio, buying dMarc Broadcasting earlier this year.
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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