Google Asking Their Advertisers To Publicly Support Yahoo Search Deal

A reader, Darrin (from ReverseMortgageGuides), who says he spends about $100,000/month on Google adwords received a voicemail from a Cleary Gottlieb lawyer named Donald Burke. Burke says he’s representing Google in the Yahoo advertising deal.

The message, linked below (with part of the phone number toned out), says: “Hi Darren my name is Donald Burke. I’m calling on behalf of Google to talk with Adwords advertisers about the new proposed Google/Yahoo Advertising Agreement. If you have a couple of minutes to talk with me, my number is…Thanks very much. Take care.”

Darrin says he called the attorney back and was asked to make a public testimonial in support of the deal:

I received a voicemail from an attorney representing Google yesterday so of course I called back (voicemail attached). We spend about 100K a month on AdWords so we’d apparently been targeted because of that. He was looking for large advertisers who use both Google and Yahoo (we do) who would be willing to provide public testimonials in support of outsourcing Yahoo’s search ads to Google. I told him I’m a free-market competition kind of guy so he tried to address my concerns for about 15 minutes and then called it quits.

A recording of the first voicemail is here.

Darrin says the attorney was looking for advertisers that use both Google and Yahoo. It’s certainly possible that Google has gathered Yahoo advertiser information on their own, or that the lawyer is just making a guess that big Google advertisers also use Yahoo. What would be disconcerting is if Yahoo has handed over a list of their advertisers to Google for purposes of figuring out which ones are spending lots of money on both platforms.