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Yahoo! Search Marketing Class Action Settlement Announced

If you have been managing a pay-per-click campaign within Yahoo! Search Marketing, you likely received an email on October 12, 2009 from the Claims Administrator discussing the Notice of Class Action Settlement involving Yahoo! Search Marketing.

This notice appears to be legitimate; here is a supporting article link found in Google this morning: TechCrunch article posted 10/13/09

Summary of the Class Action Suit:

Suit was brought in 2006 against Yahoo! Search Marketing's alleging breach of contract with their pay per click (PPC) clients. Yahoo! presented campaign set up options to have ads appear either within a Sponsored Search or Content Match. Yahoo! went beyond those disclosed choices and allowed PPC ads to be "displayed in spyware, domain name parking sites (bulk registration sites), pop-ups, pop-unders and typosquatting sites".

Summary of the settlement announced - Yahoo! has agreed to:

  • pay $4.3 million on legal and settlement fees
  • refund $20 to any business owners now out of business who were engaged in the Yahoo! Search Marketing campaigns (claim forms must be submitted by date specified in the settlement notice)
  • present a new third ad placement option available for the next two years to existing PPC clients which will allow them the opportunity "to specify that their Sponsored Search ads should be displayed only on websites and other Internet properties owned or operated by Yahoo!, and the websites of certain “Premium” distribution partners."

If you are currently a Yahoo! Search Marketing customer, you will want to review the email you would have received outlining the details and the options available to you in the settlement.

Acorn's reading of the settlement indicates that if you take no action to exclude yourself from the settlement or claim you are no longer in business and entitled to the $20 refund, you will automatically become a part of the settlement and become entitled to the new third ad display option (scheduled to become available sometime between Q1 and Q3 2010).

Sharon Rowe
Acorn, Professional Client Services Manager

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