Paper Industry Ablaze In Australia Over Google Ad Decisions

A civil liberties group in Australia is criticizing Google's decision to pull ads by the Wilderness Society that brought attention to "a boycott against a paper manufacturer that uses wood sourced from Australian old growth forests," the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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The company to be boycotted - Australian Paper - contacted Google and the ads were pulled as they used brand names in their ad copy. "Google removed the ads saying that because the society did not own the trademark for the popular paper brand, Reflex, it could not use the name in its ads."

The Wilderness Society claimed they could use the words as they were not selling any of the company's items, just bringing to the public's attention what was happening. Google even allowed Australian Paper to run ads against the Wilderness Society when searchers sought "Ethical Papers" - the conservation group's website.

The ads brought searchers to a landing page defending its environmental policy. The ads have since been pulled.

"Freedom of speech campaigners said Google was using its muscle - more than 90 per cent of online searches in Australia are on Google - to prevent a balanced debate," SMH noted.

Google told the newspaper they preferred parties settled their own disputes.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.