ADOTAS – Is there a positive or negative connotation to the adjective “outspoken”? The tech media religiously applies the term to Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, and while it may seem to have a negative connotation (possibly a sexist one too — “That woman talks too much!”) I always get the feeling that the press really respects her bluntness, even if it might severely lack tact. In an age where opaque corporate speech typically spews from the mouths of CEOs, it’s refreshing to see Bartz publicly tell a prominent tech writer to “f— off” (in a surprisingly congenial way — she’s got a gift).
She certainly wasn’t pulling punches in an interview with Reuters, in which she predicted that Apple’s fledgling iAd platform is doomed.
“That’s going to fall apart for them,” she predicted. “Advertisers are not going to have that type of control over them. Apple wants total control over those ads.”
Bartz’ response came when queried about Yahoo’s increasing presence in the mobile space and bumping shoulders with heavies Apple and Google.
Although she could be the most prominent voice to say it, Bartz is echoing what agencies have been complaining about — few of iAds launch partners were able to get their products running even a month after the launch due to Apple’s control-freak ways. Worse for Apple, mobile ad network rivals have developed similar products that are multiplatform and cheaper — oh, they also let agencies build the creative without excessive meddling.
Yahoo know its advertising, having long been a trusted display partner for agencies. Although Facebook garnered the title of most display impressions served in first quarter 2010, Yahoo was still bringing in more revenue.