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Use of company name in ADwords campaign

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# 1
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This is more of a comment. 

 

I have read several threads on this issue and it looks like there is nothing that Google will do to stop someone using your company/business name (not trademarked) in their keywords ADwords ad campaign. 

 

Its obvious fraud and black hat SEO so why not?

All I can say is get your friends and family to go click crazy and cost the offender as much as possible.  Is that unethical?

If the system allows abuse you can use the system to abuse.  Seems fair to me.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Use of company name in ADwords campaign

[ Edited ]
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# 2
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Hi,

 

Do you really need to ask the questions "is that unethical?" Personally, I think yes it is..... I could just imagine the type of post you would have made if you found out your competitiors had done what you just suggested about family and friends clicking on your ads.

 

And, from today it won't matter if it's trademarked or not, they are going to allow people to use your name as a keyword in all countries. Ad copy is different and they will still investigate if necessary.

 

Update to trademark policy

"Google will no longer prevent advertisers from selecting a third party’s trademark as a keyword in ads targeting these regions."

 

AdWords has a lot of methods for detecting click fraud so I'd not recommend what you have just thought of either.

 

 

Re: Use of company name in ADwords campaign

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# 3
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That was a cheeky comment and totally rhetorical.  I dont think it unethical at all.  Its self defense and the only way possible.

 

We are not talking about fair and reasonable competition over generic words here.  Its very different to hijack someones identity. Its very different to provide a system that allows someone to hijack your identity.  Its horrendous to provide a system that allows someone to hijack identities and profit from it.

 

As it stands several competitors using my name in this way could push my ranking down 2 or even 3 levels.  We all know how important the top level is.  This is not a minor issue.

 

Lets remember that ADwords is a creation of Google, Google has the legal right to say what people can and can't do on it. 

 

As a corporation with massive power surely it would want people to use its platforms morally.  It certainly says it does.  Its a no brainer to say that pretending to be someone else for financial gain is immoral.  I think it fair then to say that allowing people to use your platform to pretend to be someone else for finiancial gain, at the victims expense, is immoral.

 

Had I pockets deep enough (I dont) I could pretend to be McDonalds fast food chain in an ADwords campaign.  Before I could finish my coffee I would be in court looking rather glum.  Should McDonalds do the same to me I can do nothing.  As it stands Google has created a very unequal playing field.

Re: Use of company name in ADwords campaign

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Inkjet O,

 

You couldn't pretend to be McDonalds as it only applies to the keywords used in the account, not the ad copy. Trademarks in ad copy can still be prevented from appearing if you use the trademark authorization form to alert Google to the issues.

 

Also, think about how high your own QS will be compared to your competitors so it's highly unlikely that it's going to push your ads down the page. You should have a 10/10 and cheap clicks here. I bet this has little to no effect on your brand term ranking (but let us know if it does if you want to, it would be interesting to know some stats on it)

 

This change is only happening in a few countries and has been this way in the rest of the world for quite a while now.

 

 

 

 

Re: Use of company name in ADwords campaign

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi Inkjet O, Purefuzz's point is an important one.  Using company names in Keywords is not "pretending to be" the company in question or "hijacking their identity", it is merely a method of showing an Ad when someone searches for that company name.  How is that unethical?  How is that any different to what advertising has been doing since the beginning of the trade - comparing one company, one product, to another?  How often have TV Ads compared supermarkets or fizzy drink brands?  If I search for one brand name, why should't a competitor be allowed to show me the option of looking at their brand?  That is the epitomy of consumer choice.

 

If you've seen an example of an Ad where the advertiser is attempting to deceive, is pretending to represent another company, then that's almost certainly going to be a breach of the AdWords policies and should be reported.  If it's simply that Ads for another company are appearing when a company name is searched, that's just advertising.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Use of company name in ADwords campaign

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# 6
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Perhaps if I put it this way - a customer searches for 'Coca Cola' and the first search result, an ADword AD, looks like this.

 

Coca Cola

Get your cans of cola here

www.pepsi.com/blahblahblah

 

one search result down, looks like this - the real Coca Cola site.

 

Coca Cola

Get your cans of coca cola here

www.cocacola.com/blahblahblah

 

Few end users are looking at URLs but thankfully they are there to be seen.

 

The AD is pretending to be the company Coca Cola.   I think Coca Cola would be slightly annoyed and the offender facing court time.  I would bet that noone would dare. 

 

The offending AD in my case was pretending to be my site in exactly the same way.  The only saving grace is the URL. 

 

Re: Use of company name in ADwords campaign

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi Inkjet, yes, in that specific example, that would almost certainly be a breach of the AdWords Policies because "Coca Cola" is a registered Trademark and (I imagine) Pepsi would not be permitted to use it in the Ad copy.

 

However, if the Ad by Pepsi were:

 

Try Pepsi Instead

Pepsi.com/Blah

We Think You'll Like It

Try it Today!

 

Then there'd be no Policy breach there.  There are two vitally important factors here:  1)  That the Ad itself - the copy displayed to the search user - does not include a trademarked term unless authorised to do so, and 2) that the text of the Ad copy does not deceive the search user in any way.

 

As I said before, if a competitor has pretended to be your company in their Ads then that may well be a breach and you should report the matter to Google, they will take it seriously.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Use of company name in ADwords campaign

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# 8
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Thanks.  Below, search results look horribly like my Coca Cola examples to me.  I have learnt from this post and appreciate all input.  I will investigate the reporting possibility. 

 

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