Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is giving up on its Print Ads productrealizing perhaps, that its attempt to transform the newspaper ad industry with technology has failed. In a blog post, Director of Print Ads Spencer Spinnel said the company will stop offering the ads on February 28; campaigns that have already been booked will run through March 31.
More than 800 newspapers, including the NYT and pubs under Scripps and Hearst, joined the program since its inception in late 2006. It let advertisers bid auction-style to place ads in the papers, but details on how much money the Print Ads added to the participants' bottom lines were hard to come by. It's clear now that the ads weren't very profitable on either end: Spencer said they hadn't created the kind of "impact" that Google or its partners wanted. This latest news is right in line with Google's cost-cutting (it pulled the plug on micro-blogging service Jaiku, among other products) in advance of its Q4 earnings.
And though the Print Ads weren't as successful as Yahoo's Newspaper Consortium (*AH Belo*, for example, expects to add $1.1 million in incremental income to its bottom line from Yahoo), with newspaper companies facing revenue shortfalls on both the print and digital sidethe death of Google Print Ads means they have one less silver lining to hope for.
By Tameka Kee