Google payment changes under fire

UK search marketing experts continue to blast Google over the search engine company’s decision to scrap agency commission in favour of performance-related payments from January 2006.

Andy Atkins-Kruger, president of the Search Marketing Association UK (SMA UK), slammed Google for its lack of consultation on the issue and the speed with which it plans to implement the changes.

Atkins-Kruger says that SMA (UK) members “are concerned about the speed with which the new scheme is being implemented. It is just such short notice – little more than six weeks before implementation do we get to know more details.”

Warren Cowan, chief executive of search engine marketing consultancy Green- light, agrees. “Google says that it has been speaking to agencies, but it certainly hasn’t consulted us and there are many more agencies saying that they’ve not been contacted,” he says.

Other problems SMA (UK) has highlighted include the payment structure, which Atkins-Kruger says “raises serious concerns about cashflow, especially for smaller outfits”, and the lack of details. He concludes: “Inevitably when there is change, there are winners and losers. We do understand that, but we would have liked to have seen greater consultation from Google with us, the IAB and the IPA.”

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has already come out in support of digital media buying agencies and is pressing the search engine giant to abandon its plans to introduce “best practice funding”, a system of rebates based on the volume of trade it receives from agencies (MW 13 October).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here