Trademarks

One of the most common problems is that ads are disapproved of trademarks. These are trademarks that usually require trademark permission for their use.

If a trademark owner files a complaint against Google regarding the use of their trademark in Google Ads, the platform will review it and enforce the advertiser’s restrictions on unauthorized use of the trademarks.

Google complies with local trademark laws and requires that ads do not infringe on the trademark rights of third parties.

Google takes trademark issues seriously, so a trademark complaint may delay your scheduled campaign.

The policy governs the use of trademarks in the first three lines of a standard text ad. They do not apply to the display URL, because the presence of a trademarked term in the display URL does not necessarily imply the use of the trademark. Trademarks can be used as keywords and will trigger online advertising.

However, Google will investigate whether the keyword (in combination with specific ad text) is confusing as to the origin of the goods and services being advertised. An example would be an ad that falsely suggests a link to a trademark owner. If Google finds that this is confusing, it will download the specific ad.

If you are the owner of a brand or product with a trademark, in most cases competitors will not be able to use it in their ad copy. There are several cases where Google would allow this:

  • Resellers – If the landing page is primarily designed to sell branded products and there is a clear way to purchase them

  • Information pages – Landing pages are primarily used for product-related information purposes

Google allows advertising partners and affiliates to use trademarks in advertising. If you have agreements with your partners that allow you to use your trademark only under certain conditions, you are responsible, and not Google.

In the case of advertisements targeting the regions of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the rules are stricter and aim to eliminate consumer confusion as to the origin of the goods and services advertised. Google claims that it will investigate and disapprove ads in which the combination of the keyword and the trademark ad is confusing.

In 2019, Google announced that it had consolidated its trademark policy into a single global policy. The main exception to global policy is that in the regions of the EU and EFTA, Google may restrict the use of a trademark as a keyword.

Learn more about how to get trademark permission with Bluewinston.

About the Author:

Juraj Bence
Account manager of Bluewinston & CCS Shopping in EU ( I'm the guy responsible for the most effective PPC tool to create product text and Smart Shopping campaigns for Google Search.) Contact me @ bence@bluewinston.com