Trademark bidding is a debated search strategy and an issue that created some concern in one of my recent consulting assignments. Trademark bidding occurs when one company bids on its competitors name or trademarked terms in its pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
I’ve found marketing executives to be divided on this tactic – as are the major search engines. My clients major spend was with Google and Google allows advertisers to bid on trademarked search terms as long as the term is not used within the advertisers ad copy.
In this situation what I found happening was that a couple of my clients smaller competitors were indeed back drafting off my clients brands / trademarks through the bidding process. Where they crossed the line was when they mentioned the trademarked term in their ad copy. When you contact Google concerning a violation of that nature they will take the ad down. However; they don’t monitor that type of activity for you. Therefore, as a best practice, make sure you have a process in place to monitor your trademarks on a regular basis as it relates to search engines – and be quick to protect your trademarked assets.