This long article on a UK site covering the basics of the Google world and the impending launch of MSN's ad system has a few good quotes in it:
The customer service on a local basis is fine, but when you are doing campaigns and a new rule comes out of Google central, there is no communication. Often, you and the advertiser are the last to know.
Google's spokesperson counters:
Google is constantly enhancing AdWords, says Burns; aiming to increase ROI for advertisers and make the system easier to use.
With their recent improvements to AdWords, including the ability to filter which publishers the advertisers allows, and control bids more automatically, Google is enhancing AdWords. Adding the CPM/CPC option to AdWords content also opens up a lot of possibilities.
However, you get the feeling from the first quote that Google is losing some of the simplicity that made them so appealing back in 2003. More and more businesses are struggling just to master the basics.
At the current rate of innovation, I think there is an increasing need for advertisers to look to SEM firms and agencies to manage their campaigns. Since the prospect of dealing with another network (MSN) adds more complexity in itself, I wonder if MSN will differentiate by simplifying the process of running a campaign?