Google’s trademark policy can be confusing to many business owners and for others it seems to be an opportunity to try and cheat the system. Not only is trying to cheat the trademark policy a bad idea, it often is without merit and can have negative consequences.
To be clear, A trademark is a word, phrase, logo, or symbol that identifies and distinguishes a product or service from others in the marketplace. Multiple trademark owners may claim the right to the same term, as long as each owner operates in a different industry. Trademark ownership is location-based, and therefore must be obtained on a country-by-country basis.
Often, advertisers are restricted from using certain trademarks as ad text per the request of the trademark owner. Often the trademarks are still allowed as keywords, however that depends on the owners rights to a term in countries outside the US and Canada, and their request filed with Google.
Recently, I had a client who was not able to receive clearance on a trademarked brand name for an item that she sold in her online store. Her ads were appropriately disapproved and the keywords in question quickly went offline. Instead of removing the trademarked term from her disapproved ad copy as required by Google, she tried to trick the system by using odd spaces and punctuation. While her hope was that these odd looking but similar variations would still help her falling click through rate, the result was far worse.
If you constantly try to work around the trademark system, your ads will quickly become disapproved and go offline. The result is inconsistent ad delivery and constant ad disapprovals. The flow of traffic to your website will quickly become disrupted and as a result sales will diminish. Not only can this become a management nightmare, it can also have legal implications.
Ironically, I had placed ads in the same AdGroup without the trademarked brand name causing the problems, and these ads actually had similar click through rates to the ads that previously contained the trademarked term.
The bottom line here is that you should never try to cheat the system. If you can not acquire the rights to use the trademarked term from the listed owner then use a generic alternative. Circumventing trademark policy can have far worse consequences than a simple reduction in click through rates.
One of the PPC advertising responsibilities of a JumpFly account manager is to create compelling ad copy appropriate for the marketed keywords. With a little imagination and creative copy writing, even ads for trademarked keywords can have successful results.