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Aww Snap Google Changes Trademark Policy

Check out the official word on the Google Adwords trademark policy change here.

Basically if a site sells a brand name, or has information on it, its fair game to use the trademark in the ad text. This is a pretty huge change that I am sure many trademark protective brands, especially ones that sell through multiple online distribution channels, will not like. For example, its now fair game for a hotel aggregator like Expedia to bid on and display in their ad text a brand name, like Hilton hotels.

I think it is a smart move for Google to get out of arbitrating trademark issues as much as possible. Though big brand advertisers will be irritated with them, they’ve washed their hands of being the middle man. Now all those brands will have to hash out agreements with their distribution channels, which they probably should have done anyway. And of course their lawyers will have many threatening letters to send. And its likely Google will increase revenues with this move, CTRs for ads that now can use the brand name are sure to rise.

It never made sense that an advertiser could bid on a brand name keyword, but couldn’t display it in the ad text. How exactly can you say you offer Segway tours without using the word Segway? In some cases like that one, its just impossible.

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