Google to Sell Radio Ads

NEW YORK Google today continued its quest to make its AdWords system a one-stop shop for all manner of advertising by purchasing radio ad-placement system dMarc Broadcasting.

Google said it would combine Newport Beach, Calif.-based dMarc’s platform with AdWords, allowing its over 200,000 advertisers to create, place and track Internet and radio ads through a network of radio stations.

The deal, which is expected to close this quarter, is worth $102 million up front and an additional $1.1 billion over three years, if certain performance targets are met. Google, however, said the payments “may be substantially lower” than the maximum amount. The transaction would represent Google’s largest acquisition in its eight-year history. Google invested $1 billion in AOL last month in exchange for a 5 percent stake in the Time Warner company.

The idea is to make other media as accountable, measurable and efficient as the Internet ads run through AdWords. DMarc’s platform allows radio advertisers an automated option for placing and tracking spots that air on more than 500 stations nationwide.

Like Google’s system, dMarc largely automates the high-touch sales process, replacing negotiations with sales reps via a Web-based system for uploading creative and constructing media plans.

Google is also experimenting with the purchase and placement of print ads and exploring the possibility of brokering TV ads through its auction system.