Dennis Woodside, who was quickly chosen to succeed Tim Armstrong as Google’s head of ad sales in the Americas last month, hopes to continue his predecessor’s out-reach to agencies as he tries to build up fledgling efforts for Google TV Ads and display advertising.
In a long Q&A with AdAge’s Abbey Klaassen, Woodside, formerly VP for the UK, Ireland and Benelux, says he’s been spending the past few weeks trying to discern perceptions of Google among advertisers and agencies. He suggests that Google’s growth was so sudden, it didn’t have time to really take stock of the ad industry. That in turn is what sparked the misunderstanding that still persists today. In addition to bridging the differences with ad shops, Woodside outlined his other priorities:
— Google TV Ads: Although last week’s plan to bring its cable and satellite TV audience measurement program to online video TV shows could be seen as a retreat, Woodside insists that the television aspect will turn into a major business for Google (NSDQ: GOOG). The ability to put TV ads through an initial audience test is particularly important in Woodside’s view. His insistence comes as Google has been trying to pare down programs that haven’t gotten traction– such as the recently dropped print and radio ads products. More after the jump
— Display: Google’s search business will likely dominate any of its attempts to create a display business for years to come. This would seem to be a tough time to ramp up any display business, given that category’s continued downward trajectory. Woodside expresses excitement about some new targeting abilities for its display product, but at the same time, he adds that Google still has a lot to learn.
— What privacy concerns?: Although Google’s brand name remains fairly golden, as its dominance grows, so does the amount of concern about whether its “do no evil’ ethos can be maintained. While it easily jumped privacy hurdles in place by regulators after it bought DoubleClick, it was eventually turned away from entering into a search partnership with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) by the U.S. Department of Justice. Asked about an uproar in the U.K. over privacy issues stemming from Google Street View, Woodside dismissed it as nothing but controversy stirred up in the press. “[Most] of the newspapers in the U.K. have comments and if you look at the comments on the story, about nine out of 10 people were like, ‘I read the article and then I tried the product and wow — I really like it.'”