Google & Publicis Hop In Bed

Anyone who works in advertising knows that Google has been diligently working to build up its traditional agency skills… let’s just say the recruiters are not shy about calling you right at your current job to see if you’d rather have free lunch at Google instead. That makes this announcement about Google forming a partnership with Publicis interesting but not surprising…

According to the story Google is going to be exchanging talent, ideas, and product efforts with Publicis, although the relationship is not exclusive. This is definitely a smart move on the part of Publicis, because it would be hard to find a partner with more R&D money than Google ($500 million cool ones in Q3, unless I misread their quarterly earnings report). If they’ve got ideas for the next generation of advertising platforms, Google can make them happen.

As for Google, they seem to be having some trouble making their traditional offerings like print and TV come alive; although they don’t release many details about the relative success of their product lines, according to their latest earnings report their own and partner web sites contributed 99% of their revenue, leaving a slim 1% for “Licensing and other.” These other ad offerings have been available for at least a year, and they aren’t getting much traction, so it makes sense that they would partner with a large traditional agency to see if they can beef that up. Because as I mentioned in a previous post, Google knows that search will inevitably start to lose its luster, and they have to be on to the Next Thing.