AT&T Leads Google Ad Spenders - InformationWeek

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AT&T Leads Google Ad Spenders

BP, fighting negative publicity from the gulf oil spill, dramatically upped spending on search ads to nearly $3.6 million in June, according to data obtained by Advertising Age.

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Google in June counted as its top search advertisers AT&T, the travel site Expedia, eBay,, and the oil company BP, which was responsible for the nation's worst oil spill in history, an advertising trade magazine reported.

The list was in a search-spending document obtained by Advertising Age, which said it had verified the data's accuracy through multiple sources with direct knowledge of the spending levels. While the document did not contain a complete list of advertisers, it did provide a snapshot of the big spenders and gave an indication of the growing importance of Google and search advertising.

BP, which was battling a public relations nightmare in June as oil gushed from its well into the Gulf of Mexico, spent nearly $3.6 million in search advertising on Google, Advertising Age reported Monday. Before June, BP was spending only about $57,000 on search ads.

However, BP was not the biggest spender listed on the document. AT&T spent more than $8 million in June, which is when Apple launched the iPhone 4. AT&T is the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone.

Other big spenders that month included the Apollo Group, which counts the University of Phoenix as a subsidiary, Expedia, eBay, and, which each spent more than $5 million. Apple and Intel spent just less than $1 million.

Big name companies on the list that spent less than $500,000 in June included GM, Walt Disney, Eastman Kodak, and BMW, according to Advertising Age.

The document indicates how important Google and search advertising have become to many of the nation's biggest brands. Google, which took in $23.65 billion in revenue last year, dominates the search advertising market with a 65% share.

The spending document included only companies directly billed by Google, and not the thousands of self-serve advertisers, which make up a large portion of the search engine's revenue.

Google claims that businesses last year made, on average, $2 in revenue for every dollar spent on its search advertising product, AdWords. Therefore, the company says it generated $54 billion of economic activity for U.S. businesses in 2009.

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