Google recently made a significant change in how they treat using trademarked terms in Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising ad copy. Prior to this change, unless you had direct written approval from a trademark holder, you were pretty much out of luck when it came to using a trademarked term in your PPC ad copy. Even if you were an authorized reseller of a specific brand, you still could not use the brand name in your Google AdWords ad copy unless Google had express written permission from the trademark holder on file.
That has all changed. And that is great news for many e-commerce sites that sell branded items. If you are a reseller of goods that have a trademarked brand and if your landing pages give significant focus to the trademarked term, then most Google AdWords ads within the United States will now be approved to run on Google. Also, make sure the trademarked term is used in a text format on your website, as opposed to only flash, so Google can recognize the use of the trademarked term on your page.
The approval process for ads the contain trademarked terms is a separate process at Google AdWords. The ads are first approved to run for all other Google policies, and then they are checked so the use of the trademark and the landing page are in alignment with Google’s new trademark policy guidelines. This approval process may take a bit longer than the normal time you may have seen in the past for non-trademarked ads, so you will need to give Google AdWords ads containing trademarks a bit more time to show up on Google.
Also, you might notice that these trademark ads may show a status of “approved-limited.” This means that Google recognizes that the ad contains a trademarked term and that the advertiser was not given direct permission from the owner of the trademark to actually use it in Google pay per click ad copy. This does NOT mean that the ad will only show for a limited time or in limited regions, but it does mean that Google will check this ad continually to make sure it aligns with the new trademark policy. The content of your landing page will be constantly assessed by Google to make sure the trademark is still featured prominently, so be careful of any changes you make to your landing pages, especially after your trademark ads have been approved and are receiving click traffic.
This change is a real plus for anyone doing PPC management because we all know that if someone is searching for branded items, it certainly is nice to have that trademarked brand name in your ad. If I’m looking for Lexmark ink, I’m certainly more inclined to click an ad that has the Lexmark trademarked term in the ad, than on a generic ad that does not.