Business – Tiger Woods drama a boost for Yahoo!: Bartz
NEW YORK: Online fascination with the apparent infidelities of golf idol Tiger Woods has been a boon for Yahoo!, the firm’s blunt-talking chief
executive Carol Bartz said on Tuesday.
“God bless Tiger,” Bartz said while discussing Yahoo! user traffic and display advertising at UBS Investment Bank’s annual Global Media and Communications Conference here.
“This week we got a huge uplift: Front Page, News, Sports, Gossip. He just filtered through the whole place. It is better than Michael Jackson dying; it is kind of hard to put an ad next to a funeral.”
Woods has been in the eye of a media storm over the 14-time major winner’s alleged string of extramarital affairs. The furor erupted when he crashed his car on November 27 outside the Florida home where he lived with his wife Elin, a Swedish former model, and their two children.
Woods would not give a statement to police about the crash and failed to dampen subsequent media speculation that it was caused by an argument with his wife over his reported affair with New York night club hostess Rachel Uchitel.
He apologized on Wednesday for “transgressions” in his family life as a magazine posted what it said was damning evidence of an affair between him and a second woman, a cocktail waitress called Jaimee Grubbs.
Bartz dismissed questions about Yahoo! trying to measure up to Google, contending that her company’s competition was television, billboards and other “offline” advertising and not the Internet powerhouse.
Prices for online display advertising are recovering and Yahoo! is selling more as the world’s economy recovers, according to Bartz. “We are seeing marketers interested in all forms of advertising and prices picking up,” Bartz said.
The chief executive said she sees profit in “hyper-local” advertising and Yahoo! sales people have begun to promote marketing tailored to location-detecting capabilities in smartphones. “We have a real heads-up in local,” Bartz said. “Doesn’t everybody like to read arrest reports and all that? Don’t lie.”
While the Sunnyvale, California, firm has a deal pending to outsource its Internet search function to Microsoft, using a new Bing engine, Bartz promised that “the experience on top of that will be uniquely Yahoo!”
Yahoo!’s biggest job is to increase its popularity outside the United States and is focusing on emerging markets, according to the chief executive. “The number one thing is getting more information from our data so advertisers can target better,” Bartz said.
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