In the small print of Google’s quarterly report, it would appear that the search engine saved a fortune by being forced to step out of its normal routine.
Google saved $268 million in expenses from company promotions, travel and entertainment, compared to the same period a year earlier, "primarily as a result of COVID-19", according to a company filing. Annually that would be more than $1 billion.
Indeed, Alphabet said in its annual report earlier this year that advertising and promotional expenses dropped by $1.4 billion in 2020 as the company reduced spending, paused or rescheduled campaigns, and changed some events to digital-only formats due to the pandemic.
Travel and entertainment expenses fell by $371 million. The savings offset many of the costs that came with hiring thousands of more workers. And the pandemic prudence allowed the company to keep its marketing and administrative costs effectively flat for the first quarter, despite boosting revenue by 34 percent.