Death of the Salesman?

I read an article in Wired that was scary — from the POV of the beleaguered newspaper industry. It explains how Google uses auctions to price advertisements. I understood it not all too well which was the scariest part. They have implemented an auction-based approach to selling and they do it on such a routine basis that it seems unbeatable. The customers essentially sell themselves. I don’t know if it is adaptable to newspapers or online news media. I hope so. It is such a powerful selling advantage to have a mathematical formula assign value — provided there are customers who want to buy the medium.