We were somewhat skeptical
of what kind of advantage Google could provide to selling ads in physical publications (initially magazines) when the program launched in 2005. At best, we thought that the relationship with advertisers could maybe bring in some advertisers who didn't traditionally advertise in print. But, there was no way to provide the customization and contextualization that made Google's ad programs online so effective. And, indeed, the original program was something of a failure
. The company then took a second shot
, which seemed to get a lukewarm thumbs up
from some newspapers, but it was hardly a rousing success.
And, indeed, the company has now admitted that they're killing off the program
-- which seems unlikely to be missed. There's certainly nothing wrong with experimenting with new business models and ideas, but it was never really clear what true advantage Google provided in this space, and the shut down pretty much confirms that the answer was that there wasn't much of an advantage.