Google Opens Brand Name Advertising To All
Google has decided to let more U.S. advertisers use trademarked terms in ad text on search result pages as of June 15. For advertisers who want to promote the top brand names through Google keywords, the change being made by the search engine company is an opportunity but owners of prestige brands don't see it that way. They see use of their terms in Google's "Sponsored Link" ads is a trademark violation.
Under the old policy if a company wanted to advertise the brands they sell they may not have been able to use specific keywords. But now while that advertiser can promote brands he sells this also opens the window to all sorts of attempts at fraudulent advertising and the selling of counterfeit merchandise. According to Bloomberg, Google has said it will still "perform a limited investigation of reasonable complaints about use of trademarks in ads." Google's website instructs trademark owners to go after the advertisers themselves.
For luxury brands the keywords may not be as much of a problem as Google's own native search results. Do a search for Louis Vuitton and online retailers selling "replica" bags are right there on the front page, no advertising required. Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH has already taken on Google in French court over a long and involved trademark- infringement lawsuit in Europe which is ongoing.