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Property Rights over a clients Google AdWords Account

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have a client that I do web design for and he has been unimpressed with his Google AdWords Campaign which is being run by another Ad Agency.

He is also confused to their billing and reporting methods. The Ad Agency send him monthly reports showing how many clicks he gets, the Avg CPC  and a total amount spent for the month.This is the only amount he then has to pay - say for example he got 350 clicks - Avg CPC $3.50 Total amount $1225.00 - The Ad Agency then only charges the client $1225.00

These reports are generated using the Ad Agency's own software they are NOT Google Reports, so how is he to truly know how much Google are charging him?

 

I just spoke to the Ad Agency about giving the client direct access to their Google AdWords Account so he can see for himself and they have flat out said NO!


Yes the agency set it up for the client, however does the client not maintain some sort of authority over the account? The Ad Agency believes they have intellectual property over the ad campaign which I guess I can understand, however the client has already paid for this service (and paid BIG$$$) over the last few years does that not mean he owns the campaigns?


Regardless, the client is not interested in access for the "campaign secrets", he is interested in seeing first hand how much Google is charging him per click and how much the Ad Agency is charging him.

 

The Ad Agency insist that they are not charging the client anything on top of what Google are charging him per click. Impossible right?


The client wants to see how much Google are charging him and how much the agency is charging him.


Any ideas on how to approach this?

2 Expert replyverified_user
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Terry Louras
September 2015

Re: Property Rights over a clients Google AdWords Account

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Terry,

 

Google clearly states that Third Party partners and agencies are supposed to be transparent about charges and are supposed to share the customer ID (at least) with their clients, apart from reports that contain performance and cost data.

 

I don't believe an agency can stick to cost per click charges and charge nothing in addition. This clearly means they aren't transparent about their management fee.

 

You can find Third Party policies here. I'd suggest reporting a violation here if the client is not able to get the info he's looking for.

 

Feel free to write back!

Sumanth Sridhar

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Terry Louras
September 2015

Re: Property Rights over a clients Google AdWords Account

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Terry,

 

Google clearly states that Third Party partners and agencies are supposed to be transparent about charges and are supposed to share the customer ID (at least) with their clients, apart from reports that contain performance and cost data.

 

I don't believe an agency can stick to cost per click charges and charge nothing in addition. This clearly means they aren't transparent about their management fee.

 

You can find Third Party policies here. I'd suggest reporting a violation here if the client is not able to get the info he's looking for.

 

Feel free to write back!

Sumanth Sridhar

Re: Property Rights over a clients Google AdWords Account

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Sumanth, I totally agree with your comments. They are not being transparent at all and it makes me wonder why. Is there any way that Google can supply raw reports to the client (i.e the registered owner of the domain name and business name) and bypass the third party altogether?
Thanks again for your time.
Terry

Re: Property Rights over a clients Google AdWords Account

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

Terry,

 

Proving ownership would be difficult since the client hasn't been paying Google directly and doesn't have access to the account. Business & domain ownership wouldn't help unfortunately, as AdWords account ownership is what Google would consider. I highly doubt if Google would be able to provide any account specific info/reports without verifying ownership.

 

Google's role is limited in such cases as they wouldn't advocate on behalf of either parties. I believe reporting a violation would lead to some action against the third party, but I don't think Google would provide reports or transfer ownership.

 

I'd suggest resolving this directly with the agency which is recommended by Google as well. Get your client to speak to the agency in person, let them know that he is aware of Google's transparency requirements & third party policies. If not ownership he can ask for a read only access at least, to view reports in the account or ask them to transparently explain their management fee apart from Google's CPC charges. Not doing so is a clear violation of Google's third party policies.

 

Edit: Here's a similar discussion with more insights from other community members.

 

For the benefit of other users, please update this thread if the issue was resolved.

 

Sumanth

Sumanth Sridhar

Re: Property Rights over a clients Google AdWords Account

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
Hi Terry,

It will never hurt to have your client reach out to Google directly. While, as Sumanth suggested, there is likely very little to connect the client directly to the account, what you have explained is not in the spirit of what Google is looking for out of 3rd party agencies and in my experience, these examples are all immediate red flags that your client should take very seriously and investigate as much as possible. It's also time to review any contracts they may have signed and cease that relationship ASAP.

My couple cents.

-Tommy
Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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