While my wife was giving birth to our baby, Google sent me an email telling me they have made a serious change to their AdWords trademark policy. The AdWords blog explains that now, in the US, advertisers can use the trademark term(s) in the ad text, in certain conditions. Here is Google's language:
That is why, in an effort to improve ad quality and user experience, we are adjusting our trademark policy in the U.S. to allow some ads to use trademarks in the ad text. This change will bring Google's policy on trademark use in ad text more in line with the industry standard. Under certain criteria, you can use trademark terms in your ad text in the U.S. even if you don't own that trademark or have explicit approval from the trademark owner to use it. This change will help you to create more narrowly targeted ad text that highlights your specific inventory.
For example, under our old policy, a site that sells several brands of athletic shoes may not have been able to highlight the actual brands that they sell in their ad text. However, under our new policy, that advertiser can create specific ads for each of the brands that they sell. We believe that this change will help both our users and advertisers by reducing the number of overly generic ads that appear across our networks in the U.S.
Advertisers can begin submitting new ads to Google AdWords with that meet these trademark criteria on 11am PDT on May 15th. And those ads that meet the criteria will not begin showing until June 15th.
Scanning the forum threads, specifically at WebmasterWorld and Search Engine Watch Forums, you see that people are either in love with this change or hate it. Trademark holders are mostly against it, while those that sell the trademarked items are very for the policy change. In addition, many people feel that Google is doing this to make an extra buck, while some aren't so sure - suggesting that Google may get hit with more lawsuits that might cost more money then allowing the ads in the first place.
What do you think? Take our poll:
Here are some good quotes from the forums:
somebody needs more cash :_)
It makes sense though. We've run into problems with it in the past. I should be able to promote products that I'm authorized to sell by the manufacturer in my ads. If I'm not allowed to sell them, I can't use the term. Seems pretty fair.
I think it's about time. Are the big brands pissed off at all the grocery circulars that use their trademark?
Don't mean to sound like an ass but honestly, why is PPC any different from print, yellow pages, etc.?