As of June 4th 2009, Google will be amending its policy on trademark terms and PPC bids on these in a further 190 countries. What this means is that you will now be able to bid on trademarks which belong to other companies and individuals, and vice versa. Previously, should anyone attempt to conduct a PPC campaign which included your trademarks you could appeal to Google and have their bids stopped.
There are issues about this, which were first highlighted when the policy changed for the UK, US, Canada and Ireland.
For an advertiser, the potential costs of running a PPC campaign can be increased substantially if you suddenly have competition from others who are only interested in leaping on the bandwagon of the success or popularity of your trademark or brand. In other words, rather than enjoying a monopoly on the PPC estate for that particular keyword, term or trademark, you now have to bid against your competition for your own trademark. And of course, Google is the outright winner in that bidding war as all revenue goes to their coffers.
The legal side is also a matter of debate, as potentially any use of a trademark which causes confusion in the marketplace as to the origin of the traded item could face legal challenge. However, it is unlikely that many brands would take such a case to court if they are benefiting from greater exposure of their trademarks, paid for by others.
And therein, potentially, lies the clue to how to make the most of this. Branding experts such as Rob Frankel, have been saying for years that building your brand, not just exposing it, is key to success in business. If you tie in your branding strategy with your marketing strategy, and let some of your competitors leap on the bandwagon of that success, then they will bid on your key terms and bring them to the attention of your target market for you.
Start branding today!