Is the AdWords Competitor-bidding Party Over?

1-800-Contacts is trying to force a legal ruling that could put a chill on the widespread practice of PPC advertisers bidding on competitors' trademarks.

According to this article in MediaPost:

IN THE LATEST EXAMPLE OF a marketer suing about search ads, 1-800-Contacts this week filed a lawsuit in federal court against LensWorld for purchasing search links triggered by the term "1-800-contacts." The company, which has brought several other similar cases, says it's trying to guard against confusion. "The worry that they have is that these advertising methods will make consumers think there's an affiliation between these other companies and our client," said 1-800-Contacts' lawyer, Bryan G. Pratt.

Many advertisers experience great conversion results bidding on competitor terms, so the impact on the search advertising community as a whole could be huge.

About the author

PPC Advertising expert David Szetela founded Clix Marketing in 2003, following a 25-year career in technology sales and marketing. He is active in the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and was the author of two lessons in SEMPO's Advanced Search Advertising course. He is a regular speaker at PPC Summit, MarketingSherpa and SES events, and his weekly radio show, PPC Rockstars, is broadcast every Monday at 4 PM EDT on Webmasterradio.fm.