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"Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's ads.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Google recently started showing a competitor's ad when people search for "our trademark" and "our trademark.com." At the top of the ads Google inserts the phrase "Ad related to our trademark."  People are being deceived by the ads into thinking the competitor (who has a "F" BBB rating) is "related" to us. Our Customer Service people are now getting calls and emails from people complaining about our competitor, asking us where the products are that they ordered from our competitor, etc. Google's deceptive ads are using our own trademark to damage the reputation of our brand and waste our resources.

 

How do we stop Google from falsely saying a competitor is "related" to us?

 

If you need further clarification, imagine a search for "Bob's TV Repair" brings up an ad for "Fast TV Repair." At the top of Fast TV's ad it says "Ad related to Bob's TV Repair." People click on Fast TV's ad thinking it is really "related" to Bob's TV repair.  Fast TV Repair subsequently blows up their TV and they complain to Bob's TV Repair about it because they still think Fast TV is "related" to Bob's TV.  Sorry I can't use our real trademark or competitor's name because Google might use this question as evidence that we are "related" to them!  Thank you for your advice.

4 Expert replyverified_user
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Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Carissa (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Google Employee
# 14
Google Employee

Hi fnippy,

 

Thank you for your Google AdWord question!

 

In regards to the top of the AdWords advertisement box that states "Ads Related to XYZ", this is a feature for usability so the consumer is able to easily differentiate between the organic listings for their search vs. the ads for their search. 

 

As far as keywords go, we do not monitor for trademarks. This allows users to find both organic and paid advertisments that are related to what they are searching for. (Example: User searches for Taco Stand X and sees that there are other Taco Stands similar, and decides to take a look at more information regarding them). 

 

We take trademarks very seriously at Google, and do not allow advertisers to use other's trademarks without correct authorization. Even with Keyword Insertion, we monitor for the use of trademarks that are registered with Google (to register your trademark with Google so we begin monitoring for it, you can use This Trademark Form).

 

If you ever see an ad that is using a trademark in their ad that you don't feel they have authorization for, feel free to submit This Form and our Policy Team will review it for you!

 

Cheers,

Carissa

 

 

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Carissa (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Google Employee
# 17
Google Employee

Hi 2013,

 

Google uses the search query typed in by the user to refer to the ads so they know those particular advertisements are related to their search, and not just general advertisments. 

 

We do not intend to hurt the trademark owner if their term does appear in this location, rather it is to provide a great user experience so there is both a differentiater between organic and paid lisitngs as well as an indicator that the ads are relevant to their search. 

 

Being the AdWords platform forum, I would relay any legal concerns to Legal@Google.com. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

Carissa

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Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi 2013,

 

Welcome to the community...!

 

If your competitor is misusing your trademark terms, you can file a compaint with Google.

 

Find more about the procedure here.

 

Find Trademark Complaint form here.

 

Hope this helps,

Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hello;

Where are you based?

In most counties google allows a  competitor to use YOUR brand name as a keyword to trigger the competitor's ad. This is a legitimate practice;

In the US, Canada and the UK Google also allows to use a competitor's brand name in the ad - text.

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: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We are based in the US. The competitor is not using our trademark in their ad text. It is Google that is inserting our trademark at the top of the ad with their: "Ad related to..." line.  Using our trademark, Google is falsely indicating that we are somehow "related" to the competitor.  Using my earlier example above, Google is saying "Ad related to bobstvrepair.com" at the top of Fast TV Repair's ad. "Ad related to" may imply that it is a Bobstvrepair.com ad and/or Bob's TV and Fast TV are one and the same.

 

I want to know how to navigate through the Google bureaucracy to have their unauthorized use of out trademark stopped. Our customer service people continue to get calls regarding our competitor.  "Ad completely unrelated to "our trademark"" is what Google should be saying if they feel the need to insert anything above the ad.

 

 

 

Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆

For what it's worth, I also dislike the "Ads related to..." part of the Google search results because I feel it leads to more non-converting clicks, especially with broad and phrase match keywords.

Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I agree fnipppy, "Ads related to..." is really forcing the advertiser to have Keyword Insertion in the ad. Inserting keywords generates more clicks for Google, but they may not be clicks the advertiser wants (to pay for).

Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

@2013;

So, to make point clear; what you are saying is that Google is not allowed to use your brand-name in its title / heading for ads related to your products?

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: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Google inserts this text at the top of ads: "Ad related to search term."  Replace "search term" for whatever the search term is. If people search for our trademark, then we do not want Google to put "Ad related to our trademark.com" at the top of a competitor's ad, because this tricks some people into thinking we are "related" to the competitor.

Re: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Hmm...This is an interesting question; I think it is more related to Google search than to AdWords; but I will refer it to Google asking a Policy specialist to comment.

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: "Ad related to our trademark" at the top of competitor's

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

It is definitely an AdWords issue. The "Ad related to..." line only appears in AdWords ads.  Google knows that inserting keywords / search terms in ads generates more paid clicks. In the past, advertisers had to choose to use keyword insertion in the title or ad text by using the format: {Keyword: default text if search term is too long}. Putting the "Ad related to keyword" line in AdWords ads is Google's way to automatically add keyword insertion in AdWords ads even if the advertiser does not want it.  An advertiser may not want keyword insertion because it generates unwanted clicks and therefore, wastes the advertiser's marketing budget. For example, a retailer of new dishes may use the keyword "chipped dish repair" to trigger ads, but they might not want that keyword inserted in their ads because it misleads searchers into believing the retailer fixes dishes rather than sells new dishes.

 

Google's "Ad related to..." automatic keyword insertion also inserts keywords that are trademarks into ads. This violates Google's trademark policy. That policy was written to comply with trademark law.  AdWords customers are not allowed to place competitor's trademarks in ads.  Will Google also comply with their own policy and trademark law?