Ad Age Provides Color on Yahoo’s Rudderless Boat

November 17, 2008

The ad biz does not feather this goose’s nest. I received a mobile call today from a person from New York. He was annoyed that I have consigned Yahoo to the dust bin. I listened to the arguments the caller advanced. I recall the points about traffic, brands, and visibility on Madison Avenue. I told the caller, “Great points. Let me do some thinking.”

I poked around and saw a reference to the Ad Age article “Why Yahoo Still Matters for You.” You can read the full text of the story here. The authors were Abbey Klassen and Michael Learmonth. The headline, in my opinion, was misleading. The write up provided me with more evidence about Yahoo’s rudderless boat. Among the points I noted were:

  • The company lost an account because it lacked ideas
  • Yahoo has potential
  • Yahoo has more levers to pull than some of its competitors.

None of these points has enough wood behind them to get me to change my mind. Yahoo has been around about 15 years. I think its lack of ideas is evident in the wacky and ineffective search system. One example today: I wanted a football score. Then on the sports splash page I wanted to find the results of last night’s NASCAR race. The search box beckoned me and returned Web wide results, not results about sports. Guess I am the only person in the world who wants to run a sports related query from Yahoo’s sports portal. Yahoo may have levers, but it needs to get a firm hand on its rudder and steer the boat away from Victoria Falls.

Stephen Arnold, November 17, 2008


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