Last month, Yahoo messed with the advertisers in their Yahoo Search Marketing program which literally pissed off few advertisers for sure. Al Scillitani is one of them. He’s pretty annoyed about what Yahoo announced last month. It appears that according to a new program

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…someone over at Yahoo made the bone-headed decision to start unilaterally messing with the keywords and bids of sponsored search customers.

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Now that’s not enough. Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim found this interesting piece of info about Yahoo’s Search Marketing programs. Continuing with the same, Yahoo just updated its Terms & Conditions–making advertisers fully responsible for those decisions.

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Here’s a sneak peek to the T&C:

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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. If you would like any of such changes reversed, please reply to such email within 14 days of the change(s), and we will make commercially reasonable efforts to reverse the change(s) you specifically identify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain responsible for all changes made to your account(s), including all click charges incurred prior to any reversions being made. It is your responsibility to monitor your account(s) and to ensure that your account settings are consistent with your business objectives.

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Yahoo just decided that it has the full right to change your bids, spend your money and make you responsible for all of it! Not only that, but it makes no guaranteed timeline of how quickly it will reverse the changes when asked, other than to take “commercially reasonable efforts.”

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For the specific example, I guess this analogy will work:

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Can you imagine if your investment adviser started buying stocks on your behalf or switched your portfolio from bonds to hedge funds??

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BTW is this legal? Even if it is legal, isn’t it unfair to the advertisers who rely on them so much for transparency and clarity.

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Though it clearly states that it for US only but if you’re non-US advertiser, please beware of what are you getting into? Infact, I’m straight getting into the T&C of my advertising network!

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Lastly, I just want to ask what’s happening in the Yahoo alley!

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P.S. It’s not a new story. Read here. But I guess, some stories are damn important to be talked about so that those unaware change agents can act upon it. I did, what about you?

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