ChristianRdz

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Hello,

A competitor to a client of ours has been impersonating our client by using our client's name in their ad headlines. They are not comparing the businesses or claiming they have better prices, service, etc. but actually trying to mislead users to think they are our client. While this is not a violation of any kind, they are targeting our client's branded keywords while doing this.

This has been going on for weeks and I've contacted Google ads chat support multiple times and have reported the ad using this form.

Is there anything else I can do but just wait and keep bugging Google until they do something?
 

Phil Rozek

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@ChristianRdz, that's all you can do, unless maybe you want to round up a bunch of IPs and click away, to the point that the competitor doesn't want to bid on your client's name. Just to put Google's anti-click-fraud system to the test, of course 👌

Using competitors' names in AdWords is a violation, albeit one that Google isn't good at enforcing (or even policing; they rely on people to report those ads).

In the competitor's defense, it's possible they aren't targeting your client's name intentionally, but rather run some ads with dynamic keyword insertion. I've been on the other end of that a couple of times, where a client has a crappy old campaign with DKI, and a competitor (understandably) gives my client an earful, even though my client didn't intend to bid on those terms. In those cases I always find DKI somewhere. So in case that's all that is going on here, your client may want to contact the competitor and determine whether it's intentional or an accident.
 

raellovepie

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Is your client's business name a targeted keyword? Like a service or a product? e.g. "Lawyers in Brooklyn" or "Los Angeles Best Plumbers"? If not, do they have a trademark of their name? If they have a trademark - you can also use that to report them to Google or write a letter to them in violation of your Trademark.
 

ChristianRdz

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@ChristianRdz, that's all you can do, unless maybe you want to round up a bunch of IPs and click away, to the point that the competitor doesn't want to bid on your client's name. Just to put Google's anti-click-fraud system to the test, of course 👌

Using competitors' names in AdWords is a violation, albeit one that Google isn't good at enforcing (or even policing; they rely on people to report those ads).

In the competitor's defense, it's possible they aren't targeting your client's name intentionally, but rather run some ads with dynamic keyword insertion. I've been on the other end of that a couple of times, where a client has a crappy old campaign with DKI, and a competitor (understandably) gives my client an earful, even though my client didn't intend to bid on those terms. In those cases I always find DKI somewhere. So in case that's all that is going on here, your client may want to contact the competitor and determine whether it's intentional or an accident.
Thanks for your response Phil, I'll keep trying but they are not just targeting my client's brand keyword they are using the company name in their headline as well, effectively posing as my client's business. My client's business name is not a generic name like 'San Diego Plumbing' for example, but an actual brand name.
 

ChristianRdz

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Is your client's business name a targeted keyword? Like a service or a product? e.g. "Lawyers in Brooklyn" or "Los Angeles Best Plumbers"? If not, do they have a trademark of their name? If they have a trademark - you can also use that to report them to Google or write a letter to them in violation of your Trademark.

Thanks for your response! Their name is not a targeted keyword or what I like to call a generic service or product keyword, it is an actual brand. I'll have to see if they have a trademark and might try going that route. Thank you!
 

Phil Rozek

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For sure, @ChristianRdz.

FYI, it's still possible for the brand name to get pulled into the headline like that if an ad uses DKI and the competitor bids on your client's brand name. People search for your client, the competitor's ad shows up, and the headline of the ad contains whatever the searcher just typed in.
 

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