Big news from the courts yesterday for AdWords advertisers: it looks like bidding on your competitors’ trademarks is now going to be stopped. The “Interflora vs Marks & Spencer” case is different from some earlier legal moves, where manufacturers unsuccessfully tried to stop retailers from advertising against their name, as this one concentrates on competitive products. You can read more via European Court rules in favour of Interflora an end to brand bidding? on Blogstorm.
I guess it’s unlikely you’ll ever find yourself in legal trouble for advertising using other people’s trademarks, as Google will just reject the advertising. However, if you’re running your own AdWords campaign and are targeting competitors, it might be worth taking a look at your strategy. We don’t tend to do this for our clients anyway, as it’s expensive – Google gives you a rotten “Quality Score” if your ads and landing page don’t mention the trademark in question. If you own any trademarks though, and find competitive ads appearing when you search for those trademarks in Google, you may now be able to put a stop to the practice.