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Mr… Death, Is It? Yahoo Scores “Fail.” eBay Gets the Assist.

Posted December 6th, 2012 by Andrew Goodman

Seriously, by this time, wouldn’t you think they could easily filter out this type of thing?

Worse: as a user, I’m not seeing these ads because I’m doing a search for this. I”m getting it as a contextual ad after clicking on a featured news story. Yahoo populates the “search box” with terms from the headlines, then serves up three ads offering discounts on a dead woman’s name. In eBay’s case, they actually don’t appear to want to sell the corpse: it’s Death in general that is marked down. It’s like Eleanor Roosevelt said: small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, but great minds pay $.04 if someone clicks on their ad about Death.

Yahoo has seemingly used up about 27 of its 9 lives at this point.



2 Responses to “Mr… Death, Is It? Yahoo Scores “Fail.” eBay Gets the Assist.”

  1. Sylvain says:

    Isn’t Bing Ads the one to blame here?

  2. Good point, Sylvain. Certainly the advertisers are going through the Bing Ads platform. As the publisher, though, ultimately Yahoo can control how the customization is implemented, and how “non-search” inventory that is really just contextual advertising, is going through as “search” because of the way they populate a search box with keywords from a news listing you clicked on. Not great for advertisers, IMO. So ultimately accountability is shared.


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