Yahoo pulls out the big guns (homepage advertising) to attempt to overpower Carl Icahn from ousting the Yahoo executive team. Personally, I find these ads not tailored to a majority of their users. Inside, I’ll show you the array of ads Yahoo is running against Icahn and my thoughts on it.
In an effort to shake Carl Icahn’s credibility, Yahoo has a rotating advertisement aimed toward investors, which are one of these messages:
These messages are on the Yahoo homepage, right below their main graphical ad (cropped out). Any Web user knows that’s valuable real-estate for a homepage:
I definitely respect Yahoo’s efforts in this;however, activity like this does not engage homepage visitors, unless they posses shares in Yahoo (YHOO). I think it would be great to engage visitors in an unscientific poll on their thoughts on a possible takeover from Carl Icahn.
Perhaps some folks want Yahoo to change, but I have faith that people don’t like change and would vote in Yahoo’s favor. (Coming from that other portal out there, I know people hate change.) If Yahoo did a poll among their users, they could easily swing 80%+ of visitors to say “No Icahn.” Besides, they could probably squeeze a few million more page views from it, too.
Icahn’s plans to package Yahoo up and unload it to the highest bidder, and that would serve as a second chance for Microsoft to lay down $36/share. Alas, Microhoo, again. Despite some potential synergies in a Microsoft deal, I have doubts as to the execution. Besides, competition among the homepages results in better user experiences.
I ask Yahoo to be creative and exercise their faith in their users. Ask your users for their thoughts, please. It’s the right thing to do, but if they have no faith in their users, then what?
Update: It appears that Yahoo was able to get support from a large investor into blocking Carl Icahn from a takeover. Though helpful, theres another big investor that Yahoo has to court to get on their side.