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Hey ADM Community - Need advice in regards to a PPC Ad using our company name.......

Hey Adm`ers need your insight on this one............

Ok here`s the situation;

We are a Volkswagen Dealer; Douglas VW.

Now when you Google Douglas VW you see a competitor running a Pay-Per-Click ad right on top of our name in the organic section of this search.

Now it`s not like they are using Summit VW(as the town) they are literally using our name and Douglas VW is the first thing that you see in the ppc ad. 

When you click the ad, you go right to their website..............

Very misleading if someone is searching for Douglas VW....... obviously.

When contacted the Tier-10 Marketing who handles Volkswagen`s advertising, they stated that this is legal to do............

I don`t see how you can legally(forget morally) use another company`s name when indeed that company also sells the same product as you!~

A few years back I haunted an old dealership that I use to work for utilizing my videos, landing pages & micro-sites by tagging everything appropriately so my digital creations would show up on the first six pages when you Googled their company name. 

However I never actually used Bernardsville VW(The old company I worked for) in any of my creations. Just by utilizing various versions of tags & the town(Bernardsville) in my titles, I caused quite a stir with VW.

So the irony to me is that now this other VW Dealer is doing this via PPC and Volkswagen, as of right now, doesn't really have a definitive answer as to whether this is right or wrong..................

I`d like to hear from all of you especially if you have ever experienced something like this.

Was it legal??????? In my mind the answer is no.............. 


Ken Beam

Tags: Adwords, Google, Keyword, PPC, PPC Bid, SEM, Search Engine Marketing

Views: 1254

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Actually, no, they cannot (or at least only until they are reported to Google). Implied Affiliation is against Google Policy and you can only use trademarked name in a descriptive manner like, "Next to Ikea". Seriously, why does everyone in the auto business seem to think it's worth the spend to try and beat a system you can't beat? It's far more efficient and productive to just play by Google's rules. Save your money Ken!

I agree Britt.......... Thanks again. 

Wow, what a great free commercial for Tier 10. You should get some commission, Ken. 

Ken a few things you should know about legality and Google TOS when it comes to adwords: 

It is perfectly legal to buy your competitors name UNLESS your name is trademarked. In your case you could trade mark Douglas VW, Douglas Infiniti, Douglas Auto Group and that would prevent anyone from buying the exact match keywords "Douglas VW", "Douglas Infiniti" or "Douglas Auto Group" HOWEVER wouldn't prevent them from broad matching on the term "VW", "Infiniti" or "Auto Group" and geo targeting to your area which would in effect accomplish the same thing that is happening now just cost them a bit more to do it.

To know what keywords are being matched look at the Google search for the keywords in BOLD those are the words being matched on. 

There is no way to prevent this even your OEM will likely not stop the dealer from buying the term "VW" so you are dead in the water. The only other thing you can do it battle it out with them by buying your name on an exact match keyword type. 

If it were me  I would have at least 2 adwords accounts for each location more if you have other physical addresses and for high value key phrases that are driving conversion I would bid them from both accounts and eat up the shelf space keeping them off the term. 

Best advice I can give you, good luck! 

Hey Larry - Thanks for the input....... I appreciate it. Listen the bottom line is simply this; Can a company use another company`s name in the title of a PPC ad?? Forget "Yes yes..... they can buy your name"....... we all know that. However legally I can`t believe that anyone can use anyone else`s business name......... period. As for trademarking....... that cannot be done as VW is the trademark. Now...... on the other hand if what you say is true, then hell I`m gonna buy all kinds of misdirecting/misleading URLs.......ha! ha! (just kidding)

It seems the question is who legally owns the name?  If it is not owned legally, it appears to be open for use.  If it is legally owned then you have a judicial process, if you decide to take that route.  A legally owned name gives you more credit with regards to a cease and desist letter.  However, if the name is not legally owned, how can it be illegal to use it?

Thank you all for your advice & words of wisdom(even though a few of you were incorrect as to how this could be rectified)

Another company does have the right to buy your name when using PPC ads, however they do not have the right to blatantly use your company`s name in the title of the ad.  

The name is legally owned and the letter to cease & desist did indeed put this entire bullshit to bed!


Ken Beam



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