Digital Nerd

Monday, July 11, 2005

BigPond blames Google for ad mixup

Via Whirlpool:

BigPond has completed its investigation into how its ads appeared on Google when people searched for iiNet ADSL. It blames Google.

"As previously stated, BigPond did not authorise, nor was it aware of, the use of competitor names in its sponsored links on Google," BigPond Corporate Affairs Manager Craig Middleton, told Whirlpool.

"Following an investigation, we have been advised by the relevant advertising agency that the appearance of the ads was the result of 'optimisation' - a recently introduced change by Google, which automatically attached the customer's search term as a heading to the advertisement.

"We were never informed of the likely consequence of this change and immediately suspended our ads on Google,"
Middleton said.

However, this does not explain why BigPond's ads only appeared when a competitor's name was used in the search query. If someone searched for "adsl", BigPond's ads did not appear, but if the query was 'westnet adsl', the ad showed up.

As noted in our previous story, the Telstra-owned Trading Post recently came under the scrutiny of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for its use of Google AdWords next to a competitor's search results. The ACCC believes that the behaviour could contravene the Trade Practices Act.

Enquiries to Google Australia's media relations representative Scott Rowe were met with a boilerplate response, directing Whirlpool to look at Google's policy on trademark use in Google Adwords.

Its policy states: "As a provider of space for advertisements, we cannot arbitrate trademark disputes between advertisers and trademark owners. As stated in our Terms and Conditions, advertisers are responsible for the keywords and ad content that they choose to use. We encourage trademark owners to resolve their disputes directly with our advertisers, particularly because the advertisers may have similar advertisements on other sites."

However there is a process for competitors to complain about misuse of their trademarks in Google Adwords.

Google's worldwide head of public relations, Debbie Frost, has been contacted for clarification on whether Google does indeed do "optimisation" for its Adword customers without consulting them.

1 Comments:

Blogger lawyer finder said...

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Oh and if you run Google ads on any of your blogs or sites, you would flipe out for these high payout Keywords


9:23 AM  

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