The Association of National Advertisers, which reps big ad spenders like Procter & Gamble and General Motors, wrote a letter to the Justice Departice asking it to block Yahoo's deal to outsource some of its search advertising to Google. Ad execs told the WSJ the letter comes after much lobbying of Madison Avenue by Microsoft and its contracted consultant Michael Kassan. "We don't want to have anyone think that Microsoft was the instigator or influencer," says a Microsoft flack. It beggars belief to think Microsoft didn't push for the letter. But it also beggars belief to think it had to push very hard.An ad agency source told us the deal could raise the cost of buying Yahoo search advertising by as much as 25 percent. The "deal is, on balance, a negative" says ANA CEO Bob Liodice. Besides that, corners of Madison Avenue are plain sick of what they see as unjustified arrogance from Google. The kind that, for example, led a Google spokesperson to claim he knows better than the ANA what advertisers want:
Advertisers care far more about getting a good return on their advertising dollar than they do about buying cheap ads that don't bring in customers, and this deal will clearly help advertisers reach Yahoo users more efficiently.