On March 3, Bing and Yahoo will allow the use of trademarked names as keywords in search ads. This is a change in policy, bringing them in line with Google, which has allowed trademark names for search ads since 2004. Google has won several legal battles over this practice, thus clearing the way for other search engines to engage in the practice.
From Microsoft Advertising:
“As of March 3rd, Microsoft will cease editorial investigations into complaints about trademarks used as keywords to trigger ads on Bing & Yahoo! Search in the United States and Canada. If there is concern that an advertiser may be using a trademark keyword inappropriately, the trademark owner should contact the advertiser directly.”
The concern of trademark holder is that a competitor will use trademarked terms to promote their own products. However, this quite sensibly allows retailers of multiple brands to use trademarked terms as keywords. Allowing advertisers to bid on trademarked keywords isn’t only profitable; it’s pro-consumer, since it allows searchers to immediately see deals from competing companies.
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