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Has Yahoo lost it?

A few months ago, I received an email from Yahoo about one of our PPC accounts. It stated that Yahoo had created some new ads and reviewed and revised our keyword list for a particular client. We had 10 days to review the changes and accept or decline them. I was appalled that they would do this without us asking for it let alone preemptively. I called my rep and declined the “optimization” and told him that under no circumstances were they to touch our accounts again without our authorization first. He argued that it was for our own good, which I countered with, “I know my clients and what they want, you don’t. Don’t touch our accounts” I was told that a note would be put in the files that we would be exempt from these optimizations in the future.

Last night, we received an email from Yahoo again. This time, telling us that the Terms of Service had been changed on all our accounts and that the periodic “optimizations” would be expressly agreed to by us if we use their services. I have calls in to my rep again. No return call yet.

The SEM commuinity is not taking this quietly. Of the many flaming posts I’ve read today about the subject, this is the best (and least offensively) written. I can’t imagine that this will stand. It seems like such a bad idea on so many levels.

1. It looks like Yahoo is trying to find ways to bring in more income. And it feels like they are bullying us.
2. If I were a new advertiser and actually read the TOS, I would not open the account at Yahoo. I’d give my advertising dollars to Google and MSN and look for other display ad opportunities.
3. Didn’t their lawyers think of the possible lawsuits? Let’s see, they don’t know anything about the client and they are making decisions without the client’s permission. Yeah, that seems like a brilliant idea!

I’ll keep you posted on what I find out from my Yahoo rep. The big question is, can I opt out of this program? If not, then Yahoo may not be seeing any more of my client’s advertising dollars.

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