According to the Times, Google has expanded the number of newspapers in its Print Ads project from 50 to 225 — and opened it up to all advertisers using AdWords. In a limited test since last November, the system now includes papers from Hearst, Gannett, The New York Times Company, Scripps and others, and Google claims that it will reach up to 30 million readers in all but three of the top 35 print media markets. Coming up? College papers and alternative newsweeklies.
Just as with Google radio ads, advertisers order print ads in papers throughout the country using a web interface and upload them as digital files, in this case PDFs. Newspapers benefit by filling space that would otherwise have gone to waste — generally used for default ads for their own features — while Google of course siphons off a little of the sugar. Papers have the right to reject ads based on content, just as they would with an ad ordered through their own staff.
I don’t see this as quite as significant in political terms as Google Audio, but it still should be handy for candidates and outside interest groups. It’s yet another way in which the web is making it easier to coordinate offline activity — translating the Internet’s low barriers to entry into the physical world. Via MarketingVOX.