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Claim: Google Giving Publicis 'Kickbacks'

Two "industry insiders" tell TechCrunch that Publicis is receiving "kickbacks" from Google for funneling a ton of ad dollars through the search giant's display ad business. Flatly denying the payments -- or at least their characterization as "kickbacks" or "rebates" -- Kurt Unkel, an SVP at Publicis' Vivaki unit, tells TechCrunch: "There isn't a rebate in play. We have a strategic partnership."

Oh, and any suggestion that Publicis is accepting payments from Google in return for driving online ad spending through Google is "an utter crock of shit," Unkel adds. "That is illegal in the U.S." That may be, but as a Google spokesperson confides in TechCrunch: "There are incentives ... I don't know that there is a wad of cash ... payments are predicated on a bunch of things." As TechCrunch interprets Google's comments: "There are payments, but they are framed as technology incentives to help Vivaki test and prove out its exchange." Either way, you can be sure Washington's watching closely.

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1 comment about "Claim: Google Giving Publicis 'Kickbacks'".
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  1. Darren Davis from FTC , December 3, 2010 at 7:55 p.m.

    This looks to be pretty accurate, even Google confirmed it. Check this out if you want to see for yourself http://www.vimeo.com/17347529

    This isn't the last you'll hear of this...

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