February 14, 2006

A few words on AdWords

Hot news for Google's advertising program:
  • For the first time in France, Google wins a dispute over the use of a trademark as a keyword.* Since October 2003, there have been several lawsuits against Google, and Google lost all of them. On February 7, a tribunal in Nice ruled that sponsored links are not likely to confuse consumers, thus Google cannot be deemed liable for unfair competition (or for trademark infringement, where the complainant must show the likelihood of confusion. Here, the trademark infringement claim was dismissed for procedural reasons).
  • There is a hot debate in the French blogosphere: Can a political party use its opponents' names to generate ads with Google Adwords? Collateral damage: A blogger, who was kidding on this story, invited its readers to click on the ads next to its posts, so that the advertising campaing becomes costly for the party. He was banned from Google Adwords, which policy forbids to incite users to click on ads.
  • Frédéric Glaize reports that it is currently impossible to buy the keyword "olympic", which use is blocked: "Due to trademark reasons, we do not allow advertisers to use 'olympics' in their Google AdWords ads"
* Decision upon request (tx Benoît).

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