The growing advertising ambitions of technology powerhouses like Google and Microsoft are creating alarm in the executive suites of ad agencies.
At an annual gathering here, executives harshly criticized Google’s recent agreement to place ads next to Yahoo search results. The move could strengthen Google’s dominance over the most lucrative portion of the fast-growing online advertising field.
Ad executives worry that Google and Microsoft , which is moving to bolster its capabilities in search and other areas of online advertising, will not stop there. They fear that the companies want to extend their reach into traditional advertising — transforming, as they see it, a business built on creativity to one controlled by the sterile algorithms of computer programmers.
Google “clearly wants to replace the advertising industry in its totality,” said Cindy Gallop, a former chief executive of the New York office of the ad agency BBH. She added, however, that she thought Google would be “fundamentally undermined” by what she saw as its antipathy toward traditional advertising.