In a surprising move, Google is following Madison Avenues buying preference rather than blazing their own unique path as they’ve done historically. The company that popularized the auction based pricing model for advertising is changing its course when it comes to display advertising and video. Inking a deal, which by the sounds of it will be the first of many, with Publicis, Google will allow for up-front media buys at fixed prices. My question, and the question that should be on the mind of any publisher who runs Google display or video advertising, is this: Is Google selling out its core values? More importantly, how does this impact your bottom line? In theory, they are supposed to be securing a premium for these placements, but what if a higher bid is available when they are behind on delivery of one of these guaranteed placements? How does a guaranteed market fit in with an auction based model? Doesn’t this create a serious conflict of interest for Google? They now have a new “choice” of what to run on their owner/operated properties, verses those sites who run their inventory. Which ad is paying more today? the guaranteed rate or the auction based rate? Let me run the higher paying ad on the owner/operated property and the lower paid ad on the partner. Either way, Google wins. Disappointed to see Google, who has been a disruptive force, break its core values and sell out.