STORY SAYS pornographers, take heart: Yahoo comes in peace.
During an investor call Monday morning announcing Yahoo's $1.1 billion acquisition of media network Tumblr, Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer emphasized that Yahoo wants to "let Tumblr be Tumblr," which she suggested would include allowing its numerous X-rated accounts to continue pumping out pornography undisturbed.
Asked by an investor how Yahoo would balance user and advertiser interests with regard to Tumblr content that is "not as brand safe as the rest of Yahoo" -- content that presumably includes posts by sexually explicit Tumblrs such as "Red Hot Porn," "Porn and Weed" and "Secretary Sex" -- Mayer noted that the diversity of Tumblr's content was "exciting" because it allowed Tumblr, and by extension Yahoo, to reach a far wider audience. She explained that carefully targeting ad placement should allay the concerns of marketers who might be skittish about placing their brand alongside explicit content.
"I think the richness and breadth of content available on Tumblr -- even though it may not be as brand safe as what's on our site -- is what's really exciting and allows us to reach even more users," said Mayer, who did not mention pornography as such, but referred obliquely to content that was not "brand safe." "One of the ways to start measuring our growth story here is around traffic and users, and this obviously produces a lot of that. In terms of how to address advertisers' concerns around brand safety, we need to have good tools for targeting."
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