are you allowed to use the sponser listing area to slander other businesses?
a competitor has placed a sponsored listing pointing to a negative review upon ripoff report. I was wondering if this is legal practice? The ad went up today of all days when google was closed.
Re: are you allowed to use the sponser listing area to slander other businesses?
Not sure why Google are closed, maybe it's a holiday where you are? In any case use the link in the top right corner of this page to contact them if you feel someone is violating TOS.
As far as I'm aware though, according to Google they may not be doing anything wrong. They tend to 'stay out' of the questionable legal stuff and allow advertisers to sort it out between themselves (you'll have heard of a few famous law-suits regarding this, I'm sure).
So if Google support don't offer much help you'll need to sort this out through other legal avenues I think. You could also think about submitting a trademark violation but I am not sure that will work.
See this link and an excerpt below which I believe to be relevant to you:
The trademark policies described here apply only to the use of trademarks in Google AdWords text ads. These ads are clearly marked as "Ads" on Google search results pages and as "Ads by Google" on our Display Network. Other types of trademark complaints, like trademarks used in sites that appear in Google search results, are not covered under our investigation process. For any such concerns, please see how to contact the site owner directly.