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Saturday, January 17, 2004

More on Email Ads and Google

Traffick readers already knew this, and David Krane of Google confirms that it's already happening. In any case, Lisa Baertlein of Reuters moves the AdWords-in-Email? story forward on a couple of fronts.

One key point in the Reuters article is that Sprinks had been one of the earliest PPC players to try email. Along with ContentSprinks and KeywordSprinks, they served DirectSprinks ads in email, as any subscriber to any About.com Guide newsletter knew. Since Google absorbed, then shut down, Sprinks, we've seen key Sprinks concepts reincarnated at Kanoodle following Kanoodle's hiring of former Sprinks execs including Lance Podell.

What it all likely means is that Google and Overture both have plans to march into the email advertising space in 2004. Given the financial markets' expectations for both Yahoo and Google, they may have little choice but to grab for their share of this revenue.

Further Reuters speculation about Google's relationship to email -- the notion that Google might someday offer free e-mail to compete with Yahoo Mail and Hotmail because they've registered the domain Googlemail.com -- is neither here nor there. More likely, Google simply didn't like the fact that another company had registered this name. Based on a complaint served in July 2002, an arbitrator ruled ["Panel finds in favor of Complainant Google Inc. and against Respondent Dot Name Communications and ORDERS, as a remedy, that the Domain Name be transferred to Google Inc."] that it was confusingly similar to Google's trademark, so Google took ownership of the name.

If Google did roll out an e-mail service, it would have to be something distinctive lest they risk trivializing the Google brand.

For now, this is still a story about advertising; specifically, the battle amongst various generations of agencies, middlemen, and technologists over a large swath of still-up-for-grabs online ad inventory.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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