Oceana Campaigns Against Google to Get Their Ads Back on Google AdWords
In what could be the beginning of a new and interesting trend, Oceana launched an online action and awareness campaign against Google to get their anti-Royal Caribbean advertisements back into the Google AdWords platform. Oceana, an ocean conservation and advocacy organization engaged in protecting and restoring the world’s oceans, had placed two ads with Google, one describing their mission and linking to their website http://www.oceana.org and another focusing on their campaign to put an end to cruise pollution.
Google had removed the ads saying that the first ad contained language that advocated against cruise industry and cruisers and the second ad contained language against Royal Caribbean. Google had unofficially banned the use of keywords that contain trademark names such as a company name or a product name. It defended its actions saying that the ads were banned because they violated the policy put in place by Google against negative ads about other companies or groups. Although it is not mentioned in the editorial guidelines, Google can have editorial discretion on the advertisements it accepts.
The campaign by Oceana questioned Google’s actions, saying that the written policies of Google do not contain such a rule. It also said that only one of the ads that were removed contained any reference to Royal Caribbean. The campaign asked Google if protecting the oceans is too hot an issue for them to handle.
The course of action Google will take in response to the campaign by Oceana and how this would have repercussions on AdWords targeting trademarked terms would be interesting to see.