The Use of Trademark on Google Adwords

Wed 1 June 2011 14:25, Editors

The Use of Trademark on Google Adwords

Is it allowed to put the brand names from other companies on Google Adwords? Many advertisers are wondering on the involvement of trademark on Ads. You will find lots of different answers on this question. Some said that brand name could be used in visible URL; some said it couldn’t be used in any parts of ads.


According to Google, AdWords are only allowed to contain trademarks when Google has received approval directly from the trademark owner. Of course there are a couple of potential exceptions for resellers and informational sites in the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland (see detailed explanation). What about the rest of world? The answer from Google in the Netherlands is that the trademarks cannot be used in any parts of Ads If you check on Google, you will see many ads still contain brand name on ads, from title to visible URL. This is confused for the advertisers.

For the third parties or resellers, they have reasons to add certain brand name in ads. Their landing pages are highly related with that brand, or the use of it can improve the authority of their products or services. With continuous change of trademark policy, from ban to approve (Ceekue), and tighten the use again, the situation till now is Google will only stop ads with use brand name if the trademark owner against it. Why advertisers still want to use brand name?

The advantages of using trademark:
1.    draw viewers’ attention & increase traffic
2.    Get traffic from competitors
3.    Improve the quality of traffic
4.    Get better ranking by the result of high CTR

The reason for many advertisers dare not to take a risk is simple: the punishment from Google. The impact of blocking Adwords account or the whole website is severe, but ads will not be attractive to viewers without relevant brand names. Is there any ways to use brand name in Ads while not afraid of getting punishment?

What did the other advertisers do:
1. Shorten the brand name, but viewers can still understand the meaning.


In this example, “Pharma Nord” is a brand name, and in the first ads, it appears as “P. Nord”. The purpose for the resellers to put this brand name is that this is one of their product offerings, and they count on the influence of this brand to attract buyers. For most of buyers, they do not care a lot on which site they click in, what they trust is that brand.
2. Deliberately spell a wrong name.

Also the name example, this advertisers (see in red column) put the name into “PhamaNoord”, while in the landing, the spelling is correct.
3. Only put the brand name as keywords, and not shown it on ads, see in column

4. Unless the ads get approved, do not care about Google’s warning on trademark
5. Get approval from the trademark owners

After a clear view on what the other advertisers do, I will evaluate of those methods:




Quality of visitors


Low risk

May click

Relevant, may not brand loyalty

Wrong spelling

Low risk

May click

Relevant, may not brand loyalty

Not shown

No risk

Potential low CTR

Just so so

Do not care

Very high

Willing to click

High quality

Get approval

No risk

Willing to click

High quality

Now you see all the pros and cons in the diagram. For many advertisers or business owners do not want to run a risk or in a potential threat for the blocked ads, they prefer the most security way. Maybe you have a better idea on dealing with the use band names. Share your opinions here, let us discuss and find out the best way to improve the performance of Adwords campaign.

Next post will be the same topic for Baidu. What is the policy of trademark in Baidu? Are the advertisers also struggling for the ad text? Please check Baidu channel later.

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