Brand Insight


Google seems supportive of brand owners.
See right or follow this link:

This article refers to little used tools Google has released on its content network (on the ways paid search can be utilized). Now (March, 2010), Google introduces a new feature, which filters out "below the fold" inventory, enabling brand advertisers to be more selective about where ads appear.

The new filter gives you the ability to show ads only in places that appear on the user's screen when the page loads, without requiring them to scroll down. This is useful as the with increasingly different screen sizes it is hard to know where the advert will be placed on a screen – a useful feature to ensure ads are placed in the top part of a screen (first view without scrolling).

That said Google has been trying to weaken the hold anyone has on trademark and brand names. This includes testing Google’s view of the world in court. The European Union’s highest court has a number of ongoing cases (as of 2012) as does the Delhi High Court in India.



Google’s view of the world, unstated but implicit in its actions are that:

"THERE SHOULD BE FEWER RESTRICTIONS TO ANYONE USING TRADEMARKS AS KEYWORDS OR IN ADVERTS. Reason? To provide a better user service and there is logic in this. "


You heard it here first…




Google’s progressively weakening of restrictions on brand and trademark terms
Consider this slow but steady timetable:



There was a slight sting in the tail to this ruling, but in our view, it has not impact. Google is not completely exempt from liability, if Google is found to have encouraged Adword buyers to actively engage in trademark infringement it can still be held responsible. The background to the ruling is given on the right.

The implications are that in most of Europe, Google is free to allow anyone to use any name – even if trademarked – in its Adwords system either as a keyword or as part of an Advert.

Of course the legal situation is not absolutely clear, and advertisers using Google’s Adwords will need to tread carefully. However, this ruling ring-fence’s Google from claims by brand owners.

Several trademark lawsuits against users of Google’s Adwords system are already pending in Europe, including one involving the florists’ network Interflora, which sued the British retailer Marks & Spencer for the use of the keyword Interflora on Google as a way to promote its rival flower delivery service.

Where Google has to be careful is where Google suggests keywords for users in Adwords interface or in its Keyword Tool. These may suggest potential keywords to advertisers. LVMH argued that suggested terms like “fake Louis Vuitton bags” were in violation and here the EU court agreed, so Google couldn't make suggestions involving use of anything relating to a keyword. However, Google is free to let anyone use the keyword ‘Louis Vuitton’ as long as it does not encourage its use.

Above in the New York Times piece Google claimed its guiding principle was service to users…. A more jaundiced view would be profit motive. That is not entirely fair. AFS has been involved in trying to sell car parts for various brands and it is infuriating not to be able to use keywords such as Volkswagen when a particular part does not fit any other car. Without Volkswagen there is not point advertising. Therefore, Google does have a point. But it also help’s Google’s profitability.




Protecting your brandname in Web 2.0 and 3.0

Social networking portals and blogs, or user-generated content open up new doors as never before. However, they also create more than a few branding and security headaches, not least in reputational terms. It only takes one slip to trigger a viral crusade against your organization that can significantly dent your company's reputation.