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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Ads for Trademarked Study Guides

Badged Google Partner
# 1
Badged Google Partner

I was wondering if you would be allowed to use a trademarked term such as GED in your ads if you were selling a study guide for that test. Would this be eligible under the "Sale of components, replacement parts, or compatible products corresponding to a trademark:" clause in the trademark policy? Recently i've had some problems with some of my ads and was wondering what the official line is.

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by LindzB (Follower ✭ ✭ ☆)
September 2015

Re: Ads for Trademarked Study Guides

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi, Westcoaster! 


Great question about trademarks in AdWords ads.


There are two methods by which you can run ads that contain trademarked terms, like "GED." I'll give you an overview of both of them.


The first and best way is to get trademark authorization directly from the parent company who owns the trademark. To do this, you would send this form to that company, and request that they authorize you to run ads on Google containing their terms. Once we process that request, it's like getting "blanket" authorization, and you should be able to create new ads with that term (or terms) with no problem.


The second way is to qualify under our Reseller Policy, which is what you referenced as "Sale of components, replacement parts, or compatible products corresponding to a trademark." If you submit an ad that contains a trademarked term WITHOUT explicit authorization from the parent company, our system will review your website and determine whether it qualifies for the Reseller Policy. Some of the things it looks for are the prominence of the trademark on your landing page, and transparent pricing information. 


While the system is very good at evaluating websites, it isn't infallible, so sometimes an ad will be disapproved for trademark terms, while another ad with the same trademark will be approved. You can change your landing pages to make them more compatible with our policy, but it's not a guarantee that every future ad will be approved. That's why it's always best to get trademark authorization for a given term.


Good luck with your AdWords account! 


Yours in Googleyness,




Re: Ads for Trademarked Study Guides

Google Employee
# 3
Google Employee

Hi Westcoaster,


LindzB's answer is excellent, and we should put it on the Wiki or help center or some such.


Here's are a couple of additional points.

  • The Reseller policy only applies in certain countries: the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland.  Ither countries are more strict about trademarks, which means the Reseller policy doesn't apply everywhere.
  • I'm not sure the Reseller policy actually applies to you.  You're not reselling the GED itself, but rather a guide that's about the GED.  
  • Don't panic, because in the same countries there is also an exception for "Informational sites: The primary purpose of the landing page of the ad must be to provide informative details about the goods or services corresponding to the trademark term", which I think would apply to you. 

This is all described here:  (For some reason that's under the "Advertising principles" part of the policy site rather than the "Legal" part where the other trademark info is.  Strange.)


Based on your username and the fact that your'e selling guides for the GED (a US-only test as far as I know), the country limitation shouldn't affect you, but I want to include it here for anyone else who finds this thread in the future.



AdWords review engineer 

Re: Ads for Trademarked Study Guides

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I am using a trademarked term and selling help related to the GED. I am not affiliated with the GED. If I put the term GED in my ad, the ad is approved on a limited basis. However, all the keywords with GED are not being shown because my ad has a trademarked term (GED).

When I remove GED from my ad is it approved and all the keywords with GED are able to run. I found this situation to be useless because the ad has to refer to the GED to be of interest to the target market.

I don't understand why the ad containing "GED" is approved but none of the keywords with GED can run. Seems like they should both be disapproved or both approved (limited).