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Can I use the company name of a competitor as a key word?

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# 1
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Is it wise and/or ethical to use the company names of my competitors as key words?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Can I use the company name of a competitor as a key word?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi donscotti and welcome to the forum.

 

Whether you can do it or not depends on whether the name is actually a trademark, where you intend to use it and in which region of the world you're advertising.  You'll need to check the details here for information on that.

 

Assuming you can, whether you should is another issue.  Personally it always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth - I don't like it.  I think the only likely outcome of such a move is that the competitor then bids on your company name and you end up fighting.  I'd always much prefer to concentrate on making my company more attractive and competitive through normal optimisation of the business, rather than taking this rather aggressive route.  Better still I'd like to look for options of working with this competitor to see if there aren't opportunities to share business and resources.  However, I do appreciate it's a grey and difficult area...

 

Jon

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

Re: Can I use the company name of a competitor as a key word?

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# 3
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I've seen it done and used it before. When it's David v Goliath, any bit helps. Secondly, if you're using BMM or Phrase Match then there's a good chance some competitor keywords are already being triggered.