Online Advertisers In Germany Face Strict New Rules

A German court has ruled that companies on Google AdWords are now no longer allowed to have their ads appear under search results for a competitor. The ruling came after an unnamed business was found to be using a rival brand's name in its Google AdWords campaign. The company in question had denied that they had used a competitor's name as a keyword within its advertising campaign, but was found guilty. The court's ruling went further than many expected, however. It ruled that even if a company was not responsible for the placement of the ad, it would still be liable for punishment. The judge in the case said that it was irrelevant “whether the heading was chosen by the defendant or created by Google”. This means that all companies advertising in Germany may now have to manually check that their ads do not appear in the search results for competitors' names, if they want to make sure that they avoid punishment.