AdWords
1.8K members online now
1.8K members online now
Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
Guide Me
star_border
Reply

conflict of interest - two clients, same market

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Ok I'm in a bit of a situation.

 

I have say two circus performer clients, both are around the same area, so they will compete for the same market. They are not a single business entity at all, they're friends but they're both indifvidual freelancers. I've worked with one already and had fairly reasonable success with his Adwords. He's put a word of mouth referral to someone else in the industry who he is friends with.

 

He wants me to do up his account again (revision) and do his friends campaign from scratch. I'm not so keen - there's the obvious conflict of interest issue because naturally I'm going to end up making both accounts very similar and it's also a bit like trying to play chess with yourself - not fun (not that I've tried).

 

I am concerned about potentially being flagged up by Adwords for double serving too. I suspect there are filters in place where Adwords will assume that a business may be attempting to do double serving by create a new account using different billing information. In my case - absolutely not.

 

I've mentioned the potential of being flagged for double serving, the conflict of interest isue and my general dislike of doing this as it would mean I'm effectively playing a board game with myself and its no fun. I've also raised the issue that I wouldn't know who do bid up higher etc. Whose account would I favour more etc.

 

CLient saif they both agree that first client would be bid up first and they're not worried about conflct of interest issue.

 

I have suggested to the client that I know other Adwords professionals who can manage the second account - I'm slightly reluctant to do this as it would mean the client will have a working relationship with someone else and it will affect my working relationship with hm as he has a second guy to turn to. 

 

Thoughts please.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: conflict of interest - two clients, same market

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello;

As long as those are different businesses, targeting different domains, with different physical addresses (on the invoice) - That is not a violation of the double serving ! Those businesses compete with similar keywords - A legitimate practice.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: conflict of interest - two clients, same market

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I wouldn't do it. Because AdWords is set up as a bidding auction, working for two competitors in the same market is pretty painful. I would say "no". Also, advise your client to be more tight-lipped about lead generation when they're around their competitors (even those that they are friendly with).

Re: conflict of interest - two clients, same market

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner

If I may offer an opinion based on experience in the entertainment / event production industry....

 

It's a sucky position to be in, period. Double serving aside, all too often B2B relationships / partnerships like this fall apart, and if you try to "split the baby", you will be left in the middle. So, you have several options, but (IMO) it comes down to three primary factors:

 

1. Liability.

2. Liability.

3. Liability....

 

When this like minded competitor/partner business relationship falls aprat (and it WILL, eventually), what is your liability? When the lawsuits start flying, how many people are going to sue you, in an attempt to re-coup their losses from suing one another?

 

So, what IMO is the ethical, less-liable thing to do? Who is the first client? How can you legally document an existing B2B relationship with, and what documented communications do you have to avoid potential liability with the second party, to prove to the judge that you said "thanks, but no thanks, thsi is a conflict of interst, and I'm not getting in between you two".

 

Furthermore, if you approach it from a "thanks you for the consideration, but..." perspective, you leave the doors open to the future, if the first/primary client goes out of business (by no fault of your own, of course). Then your reputation and liability are intact, and you have further demonstrated to a new client (potentially better business person), your honesty in such an ever more unethical and dishonest industry.

 

Then again, you could pursue the potential benefits of B2B referrals, and everyone could come out on top.... Just the random thoughts of someone with experience dealing with literal clowns. Smiley Happy

 

 

Tom

Re: conflict of interest - two clients, same market

Badged Google Partner
# 5
Badged Google Partner
Hi. I realize your post is over a year old. Just curious how it turned out. I have recently found myself in the same situation (twice in one week) and the irony is that my clients are nationwide! In 6 years never happened. Both were referrals from the same type of doctors in their area. I hate to send business to competitors but feel conflicted too. How did yours work out? Any words of wisdom?