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Trademarked phrase banned by vendor for PPC Ads
jetsetter




msg:3404361
 4:59 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

We run a retail ecommerce website that recently started selling products from a new vendor.

This vendor also has a retail website and has trademarked the product name. A few days after we began our marketing campaign for PPC, they contacted us to tell us we could not use their product name in our Ads.

We took out their trademarked name from our ads and run them with a more general ad.

However, now they contacted us and told us we have to stop bidding on search phrases that contain the trademarked phrase! Especially since we come up before them on the search now in the PPC. They claim they are within there legal right to do so.

Have you heard of anything like this before? Is this legal?

Either way, we think we can't bid on the phrase because they just will refuse to sell to us wholesale anymore. Organicaly, they come up first, we're on a 3 or 4th page.

Any thoughts?

Joe

 

pageoneresults




msg:3404373
 5:08 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

However, now they contacted us and told us we have to stop bidding on search phrases that contain the trademarked phrase!

Been there, done that, many times.

Especially since we come up before them on the search now in the PPC.

Oh, this has caused so many problems. Not only from the PPC side, but from the organic side too.

They claim they are within there legal right to do so.

They have the upper hand in this instance. If you wish to sell their products, you will need to abide by "their rules".

Either way, we think we can't bid on the phrase because they just will refuse to sell to us wholesale anymore. Organicaly, they come up first, we're on a 3 or 4th page.

In some instances, manufacturers will set a max bid for their affiliates. I'm involved in a campaign now where the manufacturer pretty much dictates how we run our ad campaign for their products. When we weigh the pros and cons, the pros outweigh so it is worth it for us to abide by "their rules".

Bidding on trademarked names, terms, phrases, etc. is a touchy business. The manufacturer and/or holder of the trademark usually sets the rules.

Wlauzon




msg:3404621
 9:25 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have heard of vendors or manufacturers not allowing their name in the ad, but I don't see how they could do anything about the keywords - unless you really need their product and they are the only source.

But then, why would they be so insistent about competing with one of their vendors?

If it was us, I would drop the product, but then again I would never get involved in an affiliate program anyway.

[edited by: Wlauzon at 9:26 pm (utc) on July 25, 2007]

Deab




msg:3404958
 7:43 am on Jul 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

We stock a branded product where the uk supplier has bannaed the brandname from keywords, so we can't run ppc ads. If we'd known this we probably wouldn't have taken the product.

Nothing we can do about it, and to be honest I don't blame them - saves the price erosion we see on a lot of products as 10 different run-at-home stores complete on adwords.

jetsetter




msg:3405389
 4:20 pm on Jul 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's not an affiliate program. It's a stocked item in an ecommerce store.

While their are many other similiar items (knock offs, etc), they have a trademark on their high end brand which we sell (and buy directly from them).

I would rather them ask us to keep the price at MSRP and compete evenly.

Instead they are there hitting refresh on google hundreds of time an hour making sure they come up first and that no ads use their trademarked phrase!

We have asked them how exactly do they expect us to sell these things if we can't advertise them by name. They told us their retail business has a higher margin than their wholesale business, and they are trying to protect that.

Maybe if I use google's scheduling function to run ads from midnight to 5am...

Thanks, Joe

[edited by: jetsetter at 4:42 pm (utc) on July 26, 2007]

pageoneresults




msg:3405391
 4:25 pm on Jul 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

They told us there retail business has a higher margin than there wholesale business, and they are trying to protect that.

Sure sounds like they don't want the wholesale business. If its worth it for you, I'd continue to sell and deal with the fact that the manufacturer is inflexible.

If its not worth it, then let them be 410.

jetsetter




msg:3405410
 4:48 pm on Jul 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have a sales rep that we purchase through that told us over the last year or so they have become very full of themselves because of their growth. It's a mom started and run business.

They do want the wholesale as long as it's a big retailer. I think they like the big orders and big money. You know amazon, drugstore, etc.

Their products sold suprisingly well and they added 20% revenue to our monthly revs. And they must have felt us taking some retail business from them.

You would think that they would be happy but when we came back for a big reorder - that's when they hit us with the advertising/trademark thing. Although they say they enforce it with all their online retailers.

We're probably going to keep dealing with them and try to remain low key. Eventually they should figure out that they have to be in one biz or the other. Retail or wholesale.

Can a company do both effectively?

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