November 23, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Responding to a controversy in which one Dutch company has been sued by another for using its competitor’s name in its Google AdWords online marketing campaign, European lawmakers are considering dramatically restricting the current scope of AdWords advertising on the continent.
This case has been brewing for some two years (check out this summary of a Dutch court on the case back in January ’08), but recent reports in European publications suggest it’s about to come to a head. This weekend, the Sunday Business Post reported that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will provide a ruling on the situation by next week.
What could happen? If the ECJ decides that this kind of targeting of a competitors’ name as an AdWord is unfair, that could dramatically chance online marketing practices, in which companies regularly target the names of their competitors in order to grab the attention of a greater number of consumers. This would affect only the European markets at this point, but that’s a very sizable, growing, and economically powerful group of consumers.