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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Competitor's Google AD - Using my client's trademark

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello, 

   I need help. A competitor is using my client's brand ( which is a registered trademark in India). So whenever anybody searches for my client's brand, this Google ad comes up on the top of the page. I have placed a complaint both in Google ad support email and Google trademark page as well. But the ad is still running and no actions taken by Google. Is there any way to stop this ? Is it also possible to know how many leads have gone to my client's competitor because of this ? 

 

 

Can anybody help ? 

2 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
February 2016

Re: Competitor's Google AD - Using my client's trademark

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello @Uma V

 

If you have already submitted the Trademark Complaint, you must have got an email communication from Google about the same. You only need to follow this up till the case is closed. But yes, as it goes through legal verification, it does take some time. Bear with it and stay in touch with the support team for a resolution.

 

All the best! 

 

Thanks
Ratan Jha
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Re: Competitor's Google AD - Using my client's trademark

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ratan,
Thanks. I see the title had the client's brand and now the competitor is keeping the brand name in the URL which takes the users to his home page. Is this allowed ? Even now, if I search for my client's brand, his ad comes up. What can i do to resolve this ?

Is there any Google support people who will respond to this ? Nobody wants to answer this question , am being pushed from pillar to post and meanwhile it is affecting my client's business very badly.

Is google going to take responsibility for this ?

Uma

Re: Competitor's Google AD - Using my client's trademark

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi @Srinivas Ramdas S

 

Let me take your queries one by one -

 

  1. Use of trademark term in Display URL -  Is it allowed? Yes, it is. As long a trademark term is used in Ad Texts or Headline, it's a violation. But, it is allowed for use in Display URL. 
  2. Use of Trademark term in Keywords - Is it allowed? Yes, it is. One can bid for a keyword which has trademarked term in it. You can do it for google as well Smiley Happy

The way out?

 

  1. Have a brand specific campaign to make sure you are bidding for your brand/trademark keywords
  2. Use the words like - Official Site, official store, direct from brand etc. to get an advantage over competition
  3. Even if other advertisers are allowed to bid for trademark keywords, the ads from the real owner usually shows up at top. Yes, it's because the relevance score, in general, is the highest for the owner.

 

Hope it helps. 

 

Thanks
Ratan Jha
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Re: Competitor's Google AD - Using my client's trademark

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star
Hi Srinivas,

I totally agree with Ratan on this.

I too had faced a similar TM issue with one of my clients and there was only so much that I could do to try and stone wall my competitors from using my Clients TM term in their ads. One good way that Ratan has mentioned here is that, do try and use 'Official Website' in your Display URL as much as possible as it signifies to the user that yours is the official website and others are maybe competitors or re-sellers.

Another thing that may help you here is that you can check if your TM term has been registered with the TM authority in CAPS by any chance, if it is, confirm with Google and try and use your TM term in your ads in CAPS. As you must already know, Google only allows TM terms or known acronyms in CAPS and by doing so you get an advantage over others on the SERP as your ad becomes more prominent on the SERP. This in combination to your 'Official Website' based Display URL should help you drive traffic to your website.

Also, try and keep a look out for your competitors and if they are using your TM terms in any way, if they do, just take a screenshot of the ad and note down the Domain name and mail your/a Google Rep and escalate the issue. Once the rep has all of this evidence, he/she can take actions against the said competitor.

Lastly remember, your QS for the TM terms w.r.t. your LP, ad copies and keywords will be much higher as compared to your competitors because of the higher relevance and try and use this to your advantage and try and bid a little higher. The above highlighted steps should ideally help rank your ads higher on the SERP and make them more prominent thereby allowing more traffic to be diverted to your LP.

Hope this Helps!

Cheers
Shashank
Cheers,
Shashank Singh, AdWords Rising Star |
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Re: Competitor's Google AD - Using my client's trademark

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Shashank and Ratan,
Thanks for all the points.
1. Currently, our client does not have Google AD and that is the reason we are paying the price I guess. But we have asked them to allocate a budget so that we can start working on this.

2. Regarding the Competitor's ad, the competitor has removed our brand name from the Title but still uses it in the URL which when clicked leads to his home page. Since it is a non-existent URL in their website, is it not a violation ?
For eg,if this URL is clicked and if they talk about how different is their product from ours, it is understandable and I agree I cannot control that. But when the intent is malicious as the URL is non-existent, how can Google support this activity ?

Also is there any way to get the data of how many leads went to the competitor on the basis of this ad ?

Can you point me in the right direction ?

Regards
uma


Re: Competitor's Google AD - Using my client's trademark

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi Uma, 

 

To your questions...

 

Yes, it's crucial to have a brand specific campaign on paid search as well. As long as a brand is new and there's no word around, it's fine to have no brand specific campaign. But as you start creating buzz and people begin to search for you, you shouldn't leave it unnoticed. You should be present where your potential and existing customers are looking for you. If you don't make the most of it, your competitors will. 

 

To your second question - there are two URL fields for Google Search Ads a). Display URL b). Final URL. Display URL is the one that shows with the ad and Final URL is the one where the ad takes users to. These two URLs do not need to be exactly the same. However, accordingly to AdWords policy, these two URLs need to have the same domain name.

 

The characters after the main domain name in Display URL can be used to add keywords. I will explain it with an example. 

 

Final URL = example.com/mypage.html (This is where the ad will land people to)

Display URL = example.com/buy-now (This is what shows with the ad)

 

In the above example, you can see that the main domain name is the same i.e. example.com. But the remaining part of the characters in Display URL can be used to add keywords or call-to-action words. 

 

Hence, to your question, if a Display URL shows non-existent URL, it's not a policy violation and is allowed. And, it definitely  does not signal a malicious intent. 

 

You can read more about Display URL here. 

 

To your final question, no, there is no way to find out how many leads my competitors got bidding on my brand keywords.

 

Finally, the right direction for you would be to have a certain percentage of your budget allocated to paid search as well. It will not only help you to defend, protect and bring more value to your brand, but will also help you generate more qualified leads. 

 

Thanks
Ratan Jha
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