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After a couple of changes they wanted to have (merchandise sales, dropped it to avoid conflicts) they told me that they are "flattered" about the interest in their brand and wished me well. Advised to do so I signed the branding agreement and sent it off, not to receive a response for 16 months until today (although the fax form states differently). But their statement clearly permitted the site.
It has not been changed in layout, ad positioning, content (just more of course) or anything else.
Now, more than one year later Google sends me a message about Adsense compliance not being achieved and tells me the ads are dicontinued immediately for this web site and I should not use their logo. PERIOD.
Well, that much about large corporations losing it.
Losing control over past positions, losing track of historic decisions and therefore losing trust. How can I trust what they say today when I need to consider their different decisions tomorrow?
Beyond that, Google does seem to have tightened up its policies on the use of its logo by third parties since it went public.
From a branding standpoint of view (and being a corporate communicator myself) this might lose them some positive reputation by some 2-3000 uniques web users daily. But you're right, it's up to them to decide if they want that.
It's the "web honeymoon turn conservative" boredom we're experiencing here.
Way to go Google, as long as somesuch is happening, they have not become a second Microsoft, AOL or the likes.
If there are none: drop the case and apologize three times. Then: ignore the whole thing for good.
At Google there seems to be a sense of responsibility not to miss the last bastion of partner/user connection. Obviously my case was escalated and reviewed. Someone was actually THINKING about the whole thing and putting it into context, consequences for the whole bigger, mutual good.
That's win/win in the long run. Congrats Google.
I hope gmail is around a while so I can call up any stored messages like Adfree needed to. It's not like I have a local copy of anything on there.