Yahoo! Sets Forth in New, Less Obtrusive Advertising Direction

Dennis Faas's picture

Adobe announced last Thursday that it was partnering with Yahoo! to bring ads to PDF (Portable Document Format). Through an opt-in service, publishers of PDF files can now have relevant text ads appear alongside their instruction manuals, stock reports, and press releases. After registering online with Adobe, businesses upload their documents for keyword analysis which matches advertisements with the file.

"By partnering with Yahoo! on this innovative advertising service we are creating opportunities for publishers to build new businesses around unique content that previously was just given away or not available to a mass online audience," said Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president, Corporate Development at Adobe. "As advertisers look to touch new audiences, readers can look forward to some exciting Adobe PDF content coming their way."

The new feature could help companies have struggling with the difficulty of online advertising. Last month, Facebook launched the Beacon program, which tracks Facebook user actions on participating websites (such as Fandango, Gamefly and The social network was quick to revise the program when its members complained of 'outed' Christmas gifts and invasions of privacy. even started a Facebook group to protest the advertising program: over 68, 000 members have signed up so far. (Source:

Google's Adsense program, which the new Yahoo!/Adobe venture emulates, has been a clear winner in the online advertising game for some time now. It is no surprise, therefore, that companies are seeking to recreate that success. A screenshot of the new venture shows five unobtrusive ads in a grey strip on the right hand side of the Adobe Acrobat window similar to the ignore-friendly ads that Google employs.

The new service is sure to attract publishers as the PDF is one of the most popular ways to distribute files online. Creators can even filter which companies can advertise next to their documents to avoid inadvertent endorsements of a competitor. Todd Teresi, senior vice president of Yahoo!'s Publisher Network says, "creating new value with Ads in Adobe PDFs is a natural step forward in Yahoo!'s ongoing strategy to enable an array of digital connections between advertisers, publishers, and consumers."

As the web becomes increasingly media rich, new forms of advertising are being cautiously approached by the web's biggest brightest.

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