Bing and Yahoo Change Policy to Allow Trademark Keywords

As of March 3, Bing and Yahoo will change their policy to allow the use of trademarked names as keywords in search ads. They say the change will bring their policy “in line with search industry practices” and some outlets say this is due to Google’s hard won victories in court over such matters.

Here’s the wording straight from Microsoft Advertising:

“As of March 3rd, Microsoft will cease editorial investigations into complaints about trademarks used as keywords to trigger ads on Bing & Yahoo! Search in the United States and Canada.┬áIf there is concern that an advertiser may be using a trademark keyword inappropriately, the trademark owner should contact the advertiser directly.”

In Video Advertising Size Doesn’t Matter

Thirty seconds is the magic number for a TV ad, but for online video, fifteen seconds is much more common. Undoubtedly this comes from the idea that people won’t tolerate watching anything longer when they can easily skip the ad with the push of a mouse button, but that thinking appears to be wrong.

According to a new study by FreeWheel, the length of a video ad had little impact on the ad’s completion rate. What did have a huge impact was the length of the video itself.

Long-form content (20+ minutes) had the best completion rates regardless of the ad length, both topping 82%. Short-form content, which is currently the most popular form of professional content, peaked at a completion rate of 61%.

TweetDeck: Now With Longer Tweets

Bigger is always better, right? That’s the idea behind, a new service from TweetDeck that allows you to Tweet as long as you like. In the two weeks since the service has been active, 1.35 million extended Tweets have been posted to the program, like the one below from Tony Robbins.

But isn’t allowing you to tweet over the limit, counter to the whole point of Twitter? I get that sometimes you need a few extra characters, but one of their most popular Tweets is like the first chapter from a novel. Can this even be considered a Tweet?

TweetDeck reports that many Twitterattis are up in arms over this development. I’m not really sure why. If you don’t like the service, don’t use it but the naysayers may grow in number as TweetDeck moves forward with its plan:

Apple, Google Unveil Competing Subscription Plans

Apple has a brand new system that will allow online content producers to sell subscriptions.

Google has a brand new system that will allow online content producers to sell subscriptions.

Is that a coincidence? Coming only a few days apart, it does seem that Google is trying to one-up Apple especially since Apple is taking nothing but flack from producers in regard to their offer.

Here are Apple’s rules. Any content producer that wishes to sell a subscription can do so through the iTune’s app system which provides one-touching (think impulse) buying. That’s great. If a person clicks and buys, Apple get’s 30%. Not so great for content producers. Where it really gets sticky is in this next bit.

Twitter for Customer Service? Fortune Puts it to the Test

The answer to a customer service question should always be accurate, as simple as possible while still covering the problem completely and it should arrive in a timely manner.

For most companies, this means running customer service phone lines or responding to email, but some intrepid explorers are giving Twitter a whirl. It’s a logical step, seeing as how people love to use Twitter to complain about companies, so why not use the same method to turn the consumer around?

The folks at Fortune decided it was time to put this new option to the test, so they took their problems to eight companies known to have customer service agents manning Twitter. They dealt with banks, airlines, shopping sites and even got technical assistance for their cable TV. In each case, they delivered the question by Twitter, Phone and through the company website.

Facebook Won’t Go Steady With Only One Phone

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is really heating up. Today, it’s all about Mark Zuckerberg and his plans for mobile phone domination.

For a long time, it’s been rumored that Zuckerberg was backing a Facebook-branded cell phone, but the man says it’s not going to happen. Instead of going steady with only one manufacturer, Facebook is going to play the field, working to develop increased social networking capabilities in all the top brands.

Sticking with the software side of the business seems like a pretty smart move. Facebook may technically be a “tech” company, but electronics is a little out of their line. By spreading the love around, Facebook will further cement their social media domination and that’s gotta be a bigger money maker for them than a warehouse full of phones with a big blue F on the case.

Behavorial Advertising Takes Another Hit from Washington

This morning, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was named chairman of a new Judiciary subcommittee for Privacy, Technology and the Law. The list of activities that the committee will oversee is a long one and it includes the collection of information for behavioral advertising and privacy in social networks.

Says Franken:

“The boom of new technologies over the last several years has made it easier to keep in touch with family, organize a community and start a business. It has also put an unprecedented amount of personal information into the hands of large companies that are unknown and unaccountable to the American public. As chairman of this new subcommittee, I will try to make sure that we can reap the rewards of new technology while also protecting Americans’ right to privacy.”