Recently on the FlowerChat forums a florist reported some interesting behaviour by FTD’s “Brand Protection” police. Apparently, FTD is not happy that the florist’s AdWords ad is being displayed in their local market on searches for [FTD Flowers].
The florist in question is an FTD member, though they do not publicize their affiliation.
After double-checking their campaign settings the florist confirmed they are not bidding for the [FTD] brand. Instead, Google matched the ad because of the keyword [flowers] in the query.
FTD’s response was quite remarkable. They implied that the florist “had to” use negative keyword matching to ensure they don’t appear for FTD branded searches.
Is FTD over-reaching here?
Are they just desperate to reduce bid competition and lower costs?
Is turnabout fair play? Should FTD and their affiliates have to stop bidding on city and florist names as well?
Google’s policy on brand bidding is pretty clear and has been upheld in court on several occasions. In this case, the florist isn’t even bidding on the brand, but Google has determined the ad is relevant to the query.
Perhaps the best question of all comes from another florist who asked why the “Brand Protection” department was involved:
What can we do to their brand that they have not done?