The failure of Overture relies upon simple issues,
Bad programming and current programmers
Bad interface, desiged by a group with no knowledge of user intelligence / habits
Run by a board of business men who have no idea of how to encompass the internet community
Badly trained, lazy editors and badly programmed editorial automated script/s
Awful support with no real guidance of who to call to fix things, pass the buck around system
No overall account assisant to review problems
Depending on luck - around 10-20 times slower to set up fully working campaigns than Google. Even still... your never get all the keywords you want, even when there is nothing wrong with them.
Most advertisers end up with their keywords in Google first, while trying to figure out how to get just some of them in Overture - by that time advertisers are happy to spend the majority of their budget in Google. It will be very difficult for them to change that now... and they still have the same problems!
Honestly, if they make 20million a year they could be making 100million with very simplistic changes to their system. I know i could write a list of things to change after a night at the pub that would double their companies profits within a year!
Only good point - have a large advertiser base and can actually be much more cost effective than even Google if you are willing to spend months getting the campaigns running properly.
How on earth all those advertisers came on board such a shabby system is anyones guess.
Heres a clue for everyone involved,
Possible hope - Yahoo now owns it, lets hope that sort it out finally and once and for all!