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I am brand new to using PPC, so please excuse my inexperience. Can anyone please tell me if it is against the policies of Google, Yahoo, or MSN to use the brand names of competitors in your keyword lists?
Example: If my product is a weight loss product, can I use the names of my competitors, such as: “Acai Berry Supr…” or “Weight Watch…” as keywords?
I attempted to obtain the answers from the appropriate policies, Google Adwords Learning Center, however the specifics were unclear to me.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
This is a complicated subject as it crosses into intellectual property and trademark law.
In the US and UK, the consensus seems to be that triggering ads with trademarked words is acceptable, but using trademarked words within displayed text is not.
You'll find current discussion related to this in Proposed Utah Law would Ban Trademark-Triggered Competitive Ads [webmasterworld.com].