Opinion: Perspective - Why Google is TV advertising's latest advocate

The average Brit watched 17 hours, 24 minutes of commercial TV a week in the first three months of this year.

Now, nobody's saying we weren't all Tweeting, surfing, picking our noses while watching, but at a time when it's doing so much wrong, TV also seems to be doing something right.

The flags are out, because the figures prove that commercial channels have collectively maintained the record viewing figures achieved last year, and their share of all TV viewing has increased a modest, but extremely welcome, 1 per cent to 63.5 per cent.

Thinkbox's Tess Alps says TV's popularity "shows no sign of flagging". True enough, from this latest report, but the curve can't continue forever and more viewing is now happening online, though these stats don't include TV watched on the web.

The TV industry quickly needs to find a better way of independently monitoring and monetising online viewing. At the moment their precious content is all but given away on the web and there's no proven mechanism for capitalising on content viewed on social media sites.

Anyway, TV received another fillip this week from an unusual source: Google. You might have noticed that Google now has its own web browser called Chrome that it's hoping will compete against Internet Explorer and Firefox. Google has famously - and proudly - built up its search engine to market dominance without having to resort to advertising. Launching Chrome, though, is a different matter.

Google thought it didn't need to advertise. So its team in Japan made a "fun video" to demonstrate how lovely Chrome is, Google put the video up on the web and got nice comments about it. Then, "to keep the conversation going", Google commissioned a collection of films celebrating the browser and put the results - Chrome Shorts - on the Google YouTube channel.

I don't expect you to be as excited about all of this as Google clearly is, but here's the interesting bit. Having done all of this stuff online to get a dialogue going about Chrome, Google decided that it needed to show its film "to a wider audience in a measurable way". Is there a marketer around who hasn't wondered how best to achieve that?

Google's solution? TV advertising, of course. There's something quite sweet about Google's blog announcing the decision to use TV advertising "to raise awareness of our browser". They're using US TV networks to market Chrome and, aw, "we're excited to see how this test goes and what impact television might have on creating more awareness of Google Chrome".

Isn't it delightful that one of the most powerful web brands is "excited" about dipping its digital toe into traditional TV waters in its drive to build awareness? I'm sure the irony won't be missed by those broadcasters wondering where their ad revenue's disappeared to.

It's been a week for saying sorry, but forgiveness is still a long way off. First, MPs were embarrassed into displays of contrition over their shameful boot-filling. Then came the London Evening Standard, whose apologetic ad campaign has left regular readers of the paper confused and its previous editor, Veronica Wadley, smarting. Now, Marks & Spencer has responded to the row over charging bigger prices for bigger bras. Its "we boobed" ads are a crass bowing to ridiculous pressure from Busts 4 Justice. You couldn't make it up.

One company not prepared to apologise, so far, is Channel 4, which has come under fire this week from MPs for the "grossly excessive" salaries paid to its senior employees.

Leaving aside the irony of the Commons attack in the midst of its expenses scandal, the broadcaster is right to defend its pay structure. Its creative and commercial management teams are expected to compete against the full-blown commercial sector and have a market value based on what they could earn within it. Channel 4 is right to stand its ground.