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2009 Factiva, Inc. All rights reserved.
By Ellen Byron
19 November 2008
The Wall Street Journal
contrast, Google Inc. staffers are urged to wander the halls on company-provided scooters and brainstorm
on public whiteboards.
Now, this odd couple thinks they have something to gain from one another -- so they've started swapping
employees. So far, about two-dozen staffers from the two companies have spent weeks dipping into each
other's staff training programs and sitting in on meetings where business plans get hammered out. The
initiative has drawn little notice. Previously, neither company had granted this kind of access to outsiders.
reality that the next generation of laundry-detergent, toilet-paper and skin-cream buyers now spends more
revenue growth slows.
The struggle by these two heavyweights to formulate successful strategies highlights how tough it is for
myriad other companies, from newspapers to auto makers, to profit from Americans' rush online.
innovation manager," a job that didn't exist until last spring.
Consumers ages 18 to 27 say they use the Internet nearly 13 hours a week, compared to viewing 10 hours
understanding consumers, it even tracks people's tooth-brushing strokes -- spends only a sliver of its ad
Google already controls 74% of so-called "search term" advertising spending, according to research firm
eMarketer Inc. So persuading deep-pocketed advertisers to shift away from TV to instead showcase their
brands, say, on YouTube, Google's video-sharing site, is critical. Currently, TV snags nearly 40% of the
world's total advertising spending, according to ZenithOptimedia, an ad-buying unit of Publicis Groupe.
The rapid spread of high-speed Internet access "has been the biggest disruption to marketing," says Rob
Norman, CEO of WPP Group's media-buying firm, GroupM Interaction Worldwide. A key factor, he argues:
TV-watchers are passive viewers. But Internet-surfers are tougher to reach because they take a more active
role in what they choose to view.
As the two companies started working together, the gulf between them quickly became apparent. In April,