Short Term Memory Loss re:Google/WPP OCTOBER Deal?

Anybody else trying to figure out what’s new about the Google research deal with WPP that’s been making headlines today? According to Wall Street Journal coverage, “The ad holding company and the Internet giant have teamed up to fund research on how ads in traditional and digital media work together with consumer choices.”

The firms are committing a combined $4.6 million to the project.

Funny thing, the two firms said back in October they’re committing the same amount of money to pretty much the same thing. According to our October coverage, the companies would be engaging in a “joint research program to look into how online media influences consumer behavior, attitudes, and decision making.”

It seems that, 5 months later, the companies were willing to talk in more detail about the actual types of research studies they’ll be commissioning. The Journal story — titled, “WPP, Google to Fund Web-Ad Research, Duo Will Spend $4.6 Million on Business Analyses, Psychological Studies” — mentions study topics to “determine the best ways to allocate ad spending between traditional and digital media, as well as how online ads affect a company’s sales and brand image. Another will use psychology and neuroscience to analyze how the brain determines whether Web ads are relevant.”

As my colleague Enid Burns noted in October, here’s yet another example of Google trying to buddy up with agencies in the hopes of scoring brand ad dollars. (Ok, Enid put it a lot more eloquently).

I look forward to next week’s headlines about Google’s new partnership with Publicis. (They announced one of those early last year.)

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