According to Bloomberg, the FTC is now investigating Google over its Display ad business which it picked up originally in its purchase of DoubleClick almost a decade ago.
The fresh inquiry, which follows the FTC’s decision to close a review of Google’s search business in January without taking action, is in the preliminary stages and may not expand into a larger probe, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter hasn’t been made public.
FTC investigators are examining whether Google is using its position in U.S. display ads — a $17.7 billion industry that includes the sale of banner ads on websites — to push companies to use more of its other services, a practice that can be illegal under antitrust laws, the people said.
Notably, Google’s consolidated revenues increased 31% over Q1 2013 with $14 billion gross income.
“We had a very strong start to 2013, with $14.0 billion in revenue, up 31% year-on-year,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “We are working hard and investing in our products that aim to improve billions of people’s lives all around the world.”
Google reported $3.35 billion net revenue, which is nearly half a billion up from $2.89 billion during the same quarter last year.
The company reports $50 billion in the back at the end of Q1 2013.
Cash – As of March 31, 2013, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $50.1 billion.
The company’s effective tax rate came in low at 8% following a tax credit mandated by legislature in Congress.
Income Taxes – Our effective tax rate was 8% for the first quarter of 2013.
Google CEO Larry Page mentioned during the conference call to investors that the company’s opportunities primarily exist in Chrome, YouTube, and Android, in that order. It believes more “connected TV’s” will allow the company to directly connect with consumers via relevant advertising more easily.
The company had praise for its marketing team, citing doubling its retail foot print thanks to more availability of its Chromebook in Best Buy.
Google discussed its success with commercial advertising via YouTube, announcing 325,000 Super Bowls worth of ads have been consumed.
When asked about Andy Rubin’s responsibilities after being pulled from heading Android, Larry Page reiterated that the company has yet to make that announcement and had no plans to make news in that regard today.
Regarding Glass, Larry Page admitted the price tag for early adopters is certainly high, but stepped short of calling it a luxury price and stated the company wasn’t prepared to announce a consumer price tag.
If Nuance gets its way with the just announced ‘Voice Ads’ mobile advertising platform, soon every mobile ad could include Siri-like functionality that lets you communicate with and ask questions about the product being advertised.
Nuance, the company behind the voice recognition module now used in Apple’s Siri, today announced a new project to bring its voice recognition technology to the mobile advertising world. The basic concept of the new platform, which Nuance made available through an SDK for advertising companies, is to bring a two-way, interactive conversation to mobile ads. As highlighted by Nuance in the video above, ads that implement the Voice Ads platform will allow users to engage in a Siri-like conversation with an advertisement:
Nuance Voice Ads gives mobile advertisers and creative agencies an opportunity to go beyond the limitations of the four-inch mobile device screen and create a conversation with consumers through the power of voice recognition. Voice Ads finally creates an opportunity for brands to deepen the relationship with their consumers, with targeted interactive ads that deeply engage their core audience – much in the way that the world’s most popular mobile personal assistants have deepened consumers’ relationship with their mobile phones.
In the demo above, Nuance shows an advertisement for a fictional deodorant brand that uses a magic 8-ball theme to answer any question that users might have. The ad of course ends in a pitch for the product in question, as you might expect. Other ads could allow users to ask specific questions about a product’s release date or specs…
Outspent by rival Apple Inc. more than three to one in advertising for mobile phones in the U.S. in 2011, Samsung responded with a marketing blitz on TV, billboards, the Internet and print media that moved the Korean company into the pole position last year… In 2012, Samsung spent $401 million advertising its phones in the U.S. to Apple’s $333 million, according to ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media.
Apple spent more than three times Samsung on marketing its mobile devices in 2011. If a slew of recent media reports is any indication, including one from Apple’s own former ad man Ken Segall, many seem to think Apple is losing its advertising momentum to Samsung.
The Wall Street Journal added that executives at carriers said Samsung “also spends more on “below the line” marketing than any device maker. Those funds help pay for in-store advertising, promotions and training for carrier sales representatives that help close the sale.”
To put the spending in perspective for the global smartphone market, Tech/telco analyst Benedict Evans noted the figures above account for around 10% of Samsung global ad budget compared to 1/3 of Apple’s, which also somewhat reflects sales proportions.
Samsung plans to welcome the new year with a new look.
ChannelNews just published a report, citing sources in Asia, that claimed Samsung is working with Scott Bedbury, a brand-marketing wizard whose past experience includes Nike, to launch a “more vibrant International brand image alongside the likes of arch rival Apple.”
The new look, which apparently ditches the blue Samsung logo and fashion’s all-new advertising material with fresh colors that will compliment an overall brand identity for the company, is set to unveil at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Google unveiled its “Project Re: Brief” ad campaign in March, which re-imagined four classic commercials, and now the company has published an hour-long documentary of its marketing venture on YouTube.
The four re-imagined classic commercials are Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” from 1971, Alka-Seltzer’s 1972 commercial, Volvo’s ”Drive it like you hate it” from 1963, and Avis’ “We try harder” campaign from 1962. Google’s in-house advertising team and several other agencies— including the creators of the original campaigns—re-created all the ads. Each video is available on Google’s Project Re: Brief website.
“Re: Brief is not just about the ads themselves. It’s also about the creative process behind them: bringing ‘old school’ advertising legends and technologists into the same room to create digital ads that consumers love as much as they loved the iconic campaigns of yesterday,” explained Project Re: Brief Lead Aman Govil on the Official Google Blog. “To share this experience, today we premiered the documentary film Project Re: Brief, directed by Emmy winner Doug Pray, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—also available on YouTube.”
The documentary follows the story of the five art directors and copywriters who made the original ads as they come out of retirement to “Re: Brief” their classic campaigns: Harvey Gabor (Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop); Amil Gargano (Volvo’s “Drive it like you hate it”); Paula Green (Avis’ “We try harder”); and Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqualina (Alka-Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”). While major shifts in technology have reshaped the advertising business, as we learned from our heroes of the past, the basic tenets of storytelling haven’t changed. We found these icons’ ideas, wisdom and passion for great advertising inspiring and hope you do as well.