Over ten years ago I can recall the car rental company Holiday Autos bidding on the term “Avis” via Overture the UK’s first pay per click system. It was a total clean up for Holiday Autos as Avis were not net savvy enough to know what PPC was let alone what their competitor was up to. That’s not the case these days as it’s widely accepted your competitor will bid on your brand term (unless you negotiate a cease fire with them!). For me i view it as bad practise as it drives up costs in an otherwise well polished Adwords account.
Everyone just put’s up with it, but why? You don’t see a car rental advert on TV followed by another, they don’t allow it or advise it. You don’t see bill board ads with them side by side either….so why do we think it’s right for them to be 1cm apart on a packed search result page?
More recently Marks and Spencer have been hitting Interflora where it hurts too. But Interflora hasn’t taken it lying down, far from it. On Thursday 24th March 2011 the Advocate General issued his thoughts on the issue. Amazingly he favoured Interlora and furthermore he passed on the case to the Court of Justice of European Union – if they favour them too then we have a turning point in the industry. Google have changed the goal posts so many times when it comes to competitor bidding it’s become annoying so I for one will be very keen to see Interflora win just so I don’t have to advise my clients to start bidding against their competitors! who’s with me?