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  1. #1

    Exclamation unethical advertising practice

    Hi All,

    This weekend I was as usual checking my SE Ranking in Google and to my utter amazement I found out that Google shows AdWords advertisement on the "adrevolver" query. AdRevolver is my company's main product - ad server software. This word (or rather - my company's brand) is bid on by AdServerSolutions - one of our competitors. Having spent some time on testing other queries I found out that they are also utilizing other well-known companies' brand names, such as:

    - AdJuggler
    - BanManPro
    - ValueAd

    How legal is this? I find it highly disturbing that someone is using my company's brand to promote a competitive product.

    I'm looking forward to your input on this situation.

    Kindest regards,
    Eugene Kisly
    Last edited by Chicken; 11-05-2002 at 09:32 PM.

  2. #2
    I'm not a lawyer, but I have thought about this before.

    I really don't believe there would any legality issues, unless of course they were slandering your product/company. I really don't know-- first place to look would probably be Googles TOS. It would seem that this would be a common occurrence, so would be smart on Googles part to have something included in their TOS

    Good luck-- I'm sure thats frustrating!

  3. #3
    I think it's perfectly acceptable, and the title of this thread shows your built-in bias.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Google does it themselves. Check out the "sponsored link" at the top for the query "overture" as one example: it's for AdWords.

    You could ask Google about it here,; I'd be interested in their reply. It's not at all uncommon, but I don't think I've ever heard any "official" comment on it.
    Specializing in SEO and PPC management.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Consider it a compliment!

    Why do you think Dialtone ads come up at Yahoo when you search for Rackshack?

    It is a free service supported by advertising and placement fees. In other words, call it free enterprise.

    Unethical? It may see so. Illegal? Probably not.

    However, Google HAD a policy whereby you could not target your competitors specifically but as we have recently found out, that is not the case anymore.

    EV1 is involved in litigation where a compeitor was buying the search term "everyones internet", and another competitor still is. We sued both. One has gone to court. One has not yet. In the one that did, the other company lost and had to stop using our trademark as it was federally registered. The other case is still pending. It is a process that costs tens of thousands of $$$ each time as it is in federal court, not state court.

    In a trademark search, I found no results for "adrevolver". If that is the case that you have not registered teh trademark, you have an even harder case.

    Good luck!
    Robert Marsh
    Head Surfer

  6. #6
    nice to see you finding time to share your experience robert, does you great credit well done

  7. #7


    Hi everybody,

    Thanks for your input.

    I don't think I'll take them to court, as it is quite pricey according to Robert's facts about legal issues with EV1. I'll contact Google and see what they can tell me on the subject.

    Although, I think that adserversolutions will soon disappear by itself as it has quite a fishy reputation in ad servers market

  8. #8

    Your best defense is a superior product and superior service.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Southern California
    As Robert said, I thought there was a policy about it as well. I remember a case recently-ish where a specific product name was being sold as a key word and the SE was sued, End result is that the term would produce the correct result. You might want to look into it. I believe it was Google, but I'm not 100% sure. - Where professionals discuss web hosting.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Kelowna B.C.
    I don't believe there ever was a rule, although I haven't been using google forever. =)

    I do know based on the "adwords" rules that specific words are deleted if they do not receive a certain Click Through Ratio. So if you chose to add a very general term and don't receive enough clicks on your add to satisfy the CTR, then they delete the word. More often than not this happens when competitors type in their competitor's names. (I know cause i used to do it ) You can't sue people for doing that - if you want to can complain directly to the company using your name in a search word - google isn't going to do anything about it as long as they are making money.
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