Google struck an "upfront" deal with Magna Global, one of the world's largest ad buyers, the latest effort by the Internet search leader to win more of the marketing dollars that traditionally pour into TV.
Magna Global, a unit of Interpublic Group that oversees $37 billion in annual ad spending, committed about $100 million of client marketing money to Google properties, including YouTube, its online display ad network and mobile platform.
The deal lasts a year and may be renewed if the partnership goes well. This is the first time Magna has struck such an agreement with Google. In return for Magna's commitment, the agency gets access to Google ad inventory and data, along with the chance to work on client marketing campaigns with the Web giant. This is similar to the way TV upfront ad deals are put together.
"There's the notion of being able to tap into scarcity around inventory, which is critical and underpins the upfront model in TV," said Torrence Boone, managing director of agency business development for Google in the Americas. "That model is porting over to digital."
Google is trying to win more business from big brands by making the process of creating, buying and monitoring ads similar to the way these things are done in the TV business.
A group of tech firms, including Google, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft, created the NewFronts event a few years ago -- a digital version of the TV industry's annual upfronts, where billions of dollars in ad slots for programming are bought ahead of time.
In the context of this year's NewFronts event, which kicks off in April, Google will unveil a new class of scarce, premium ad inventory, Boone noted.
Magna Global probably spends more with Google than any other partner, so this deal cements the relationship in a way that lets both sides work more closely on bigger projects, Chris Williams, president of Magna Global, said. The company made the commitment partly to improve access to Google's ad inventory, he added.
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