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Google Poaches L'Oreal CMO Marc Speichert to Court Brands

Marketer Is the Latest CPG Exec to Join Search Giant

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Marc Speichert
Marc Speichert

Google wants to cozy up to brand advertisers. So it's hiring them.

The search giant has poached L'Oreal global CMO Marc Speichert to join its global client and agency solutions division. Mr. Speichert will report to Kirk Perry, whom Google snagged from Procter & Gamble last November, a Google spokesperson confirmed.

Re/code had earlier reported Mr. Speichert's hire.

Mr. Speichert joined L'Oreal in April 2010 as the company's U.S. marketing head and was named its global CMO in November 2013. During his four-year tenure, he had spurred the cosmetics company to invest more in digital marketing. Now it appears he'll be tasked with expanding that evangelism to other marketing chiefs.

In recent years Google has been making a concerted effort to bring brand advertising dollars online. The company has built a $50 billion advertising business thanks largely to direct-response advertisers. However those performance-oriented advertisers have grown savvy about how squeeze the most out of their money rather than increase their spend. To spur ad revenue growth, Google is courting big-budget brand marketers with campaigns measured like TV and flashy banner-like ads on its search pages.

"Brand advertising is probably one of our biggest bets not just this year but going into 2014," Google's VP-display advertising Neal Mohan said at an industry event last September. To make good on that bet, Google has brought some ringers to the table.

Google has been raiding talent from consumer packaged-goods companies for years. In 2011 the company recruited P&G's top digital marketer Lucas Watson to run sales for YouTube. And last October Google hired away Kellogg Co.'s programmatic buying expert Bob Arnold to lead the tech company's North American digital ad strategy. Mr. Perry's appointment followed a month later, which surprised those who considered him to be on track to become P&G's CEO within 10 years.

Jack Neff and Mark Bergen contributed reporting.

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