2K members online now
2K members online now
Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
Guide Me

Company Using Competitor Names in Ads in Negative Way

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


I noticed a competitor has our company name and a couple others in their Google AdWords ads text in kind of a negative way, and of course it's using the company name as the keyword as well. See below.


2015-12-30 - ace data recovery (SalvageData ad)c.PNG2015-12-30 - ess data recovery (SalvageData ad)c.PNG2015-12-30 - ontrack data recovery (SalvageData ad)c.PNG


Besides SalvageData being jerks here, please tell me that this is something that Google doesn't allow. I'm aware that using a trademarked name for a keyword is definitely allowed, but what about in the ad text? From what I've read some places, it seems like it's not allowed unless it's in cooperation somehow. Should I make a trademark complaint? If this is bad behavior, what about the other companies?


I saw two places for complaints.

Are both fine?


Thanks for any help!

Re: Company Using Competitor Names in Ads in Negative Way

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

From those 3 examples based on your Keywords and the corresponding Ads, it could be that they are using a Dynamic Keyword Headline with "Option Fails". To test this try other keyword terms such as Buy Ess Recovery, Ess Now Data, ACEDATA now recovery ( keep the key phrase under 25 characters then see what the ad shows.

The one that doesn't fit the mold here above is Ontrack.

Yes you should register your Trademarks and supply them to Google and supply the trademark through

This will stop them from Bidding on Trademarked keywords via test ads, However if they are using "data recovery" with a Dynamic headline insertion then the ess data recovery etc could still show up like in your examples above.

More on Dynamic Keyword Insertions
Dynamic Search Ads

Keyword insertion is not Bad Behavior, Often times when competitors bid on Brand names, their QS scores are Low, Pay a Ton for the Click and often is not affordable,

Are you Biding in Brand Terms? Your QS should be High, and Great Ad Rank Position and you can make a strong Bid, but Pay a fraction of the Bid Price thus making competition have a lower result, pay more if a user clicks and keep control of your real estate with Ad extensions.

Brand term - your account - Bid $3.00
Your actual CPC maybe $0.50

Re: Company Using Competitor Names in Ads in Negative Way

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your helpful response, Eric! This is interesting. I didn't know about dynamic keyword insertion. So it's possible they may not have actually written the headline that includes these other company names?

I tested your dynamic keyword headline tests.

The first one, "Buy Ess Recovery" and "Buy ESS Data Recovery" did not give any ads like before.

However, your other two tests did give an ad from them. See below.
2015-12-31 - ACEDATA now recovery (SalvageData ad).PNG2015-12-31 - ess now data (SalvageData ad).PNG

That one is bizarre because it puts "ESS data recovery" into an ad when "ACEDATA now recovery" was searched for. Maybe it is not dynamic keyword insertion then?

Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Michael K
January 2016

Re: Company Using Competitor Names in Ads in Negative Way

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner
Yeah, It doesn't appear that all are Dynamic keyword insertions, They may have separate ad groups some with/ some without.

You best case is to register and supply AdWords the Trademark request.

Re: Company Using Competitor Names in Ads in Negative Way

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks a lot, Eric. That makes sense.