Three weeks ago, Yahoo Inc’s chief executive Marissa Mayer strode into a Manhattan hotel and was greeted like a rock star by hundreds of advertising executives who snapped pictures as she sat down for an interview with journalist Charlie Rose.
That same audience a year ago would have been grousing that Mayer had not done enough to engage Madison Avenue, which is arguably Yahoo’s most important constituent since the Internet company derives more than 75% of its revenue from ad sales.
“I think that Marissa has gotten a bit of a bad rap,” said David Cohen, the chief media officer at UM, the global media arm of WInterpublic Group.
The industry perceived Mayer as not caring about ads, choosing instead to focus solely on products, Cohen said.
Ad agency executives say that over the past six months Mayer and her team have been working hard to change that perception, courting advertisers at key industry events. But getting advertisers to actually spend more on Yahoo will not happen overnight, industry experts said.
That was apparent in the second quarter, when Yahoo’s display ad revenue slid 11% partly due to double-digit decline in ad prices.