April 24, 2014

Google to Begin Allowing Trademarked Terms on June 15

In a post yesterday on the Google AdWords blog, the GOOG announced they will adjust their US trademark policy to allow the use of trademarked terms in ad copy. Their reasoning was that too many ads are overly generic without the aid of the trademarked term.

But Which Trademarks?

My first question was “Which trademarked terms are allowed and which will still be off limits?” In typical Google fashion (cryptic to the point of being worthless) they published their updated US Trademark Policy, which didn’t clarify the matter at all. I am resigned to the fact that I’ll just have to start using trademarked terms to see what passes and what gets disapproved.

Lastly, if you’re reading between the lines you’ll see this is a move to improve revenue. Ads without trademarks are too generic (meaning they have low CTR), so Google (at the expense of trademark owners) will allow trademarked terms to help boost CTR (which makes Google more money). I guess after their disappointing Q1 they decided they needed to get drastic to keep the stock price up. It would be embarrassing to start looking like Microsoft with normal earnings reports.

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