Yahoo has sparked controversy in the search engine marketing world by taking control of search advertising campaigns… without advertisers consent.
Included in new ‘terms and conditions’ of their Search Marketing program, Yahoo! have given themselves the right to change ads and keywords of their advertisers.
Here is the wording of the new provision:
Sponsored Search 3. OPTIMIZATION. In the U.S. only, for those advertisers not bound by an Insertion Order, we may help you optimize your account(s). Accordingly, you expressly agree that we may also: (i) create ads, (ii) add and/or remove keywords, and/or (iii) optimize your account(s). We will notify you via email of such changes made to your account(s), and can also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon your written request.
I’m baffled by Yahoo!’s move here. It’s pretty safe to say that they are struggling at the moment in the paid search arena, so to force advertisers into a corner by not giving them full control over their own campaigns is wrong. I can see Google rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the new campaigns they are likely to pick up from disgruntled ex-Yahoo! advertisers.
I think Andy Beal from Marketing Pilgrim sums it up perfectly…
How is this legal? Forget legal, how is this fair?
Feel free to let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.