A religious group is claiming that its right to advertise on the Internet has been stomped on for the second time by a major search engine.
Lycos in Waltham, Mass., has decided not to renew an ad contract with Jews for Jesus after it runs out.
There was “an organized email campaign” against the ad, said Lycos general counsel Jeffrey Snider, adding that accepting paid advertising that is controversial is “not good for business.”
“It’s absurd,” Jews for Jesus spokesperson Susan Perlman said of the furor over an ad that’s in “good taste.”
The ad began appearing July 6 when users typed in the key word “Jewish” on the Lycos homepage. Jews for Jesus, a 26-year-old San Francisco-based organization with 17,000 followers worldwide, bought the space for $1,700 to promote a free book written by the group’s leader. The banner read, “The end of the world is no time to finally realize Jesus is the Messiah.” People who clicked on the ad could fill out an order form for the book.
Yahoo! in Santa Clara, Calif., yanked a similar ad after three days of complaints in July.
–Lauren Wiley