Google has opened up its Print Ads program to all AdWords customers, giving them the ability to purchase ads in approximately 225 U.S.-based newspapers.
Advertisers will access the program through their AdWords account, and have similar functionality, with the ability to target specific newspapers, sections of newspapers, and days of the week when the ads will appear.
Google hopes online advertisers will embrace offline advertising as a way to lend legitimacy to their online businesses while increasing ad response rates. "Newspaper is really an excellent way to validate a business that may have been built online," Spencer Spinnell, head of sales strategy for Google print advertising, told ClickZ.
The program is also targeting smaller advertisers who may not have had the time or know-how to set up a national newspaper ad campaign.
Google, which is often at odds with newspaper publishers who don't like Google News appropriating their content, has gone out of its way to make the program publisher-friendly, giving them control and setting the program up so that existing advertisers don't have an incentive to bypass the newspapers' ad sales teams to go through Google. For instance, the inventory is not targetable by specific page, and is mostly remnant inventory not sold by the sales teams.
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