Google initially rejected the ad shown here for keywords like "google eric schmidt" saying it violated its policies on using trademarks in ads, although it does allow their use in some cases.
After initially rejecting three AdWords ads submitted by a major critic of its policies, Google has now approved the ads following a complaint by the advertiser.
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Last week Consumer Watchdog--an intense and sometimes disingenuous Google critic--submitted three text ads to Google designed to promote the over-the-top video it created of Google CEO Eric Schmidt in order to criticize Google on privacy issues. The ads targeting keywords such as "Google CEO Eric Schmidt" were purchased on September 2, the same day Consumer Watchdog released the video, but Google rejected them the next day citing its policy on trademarks in the text of ads, according to John Simpson, a spokesman for the group.
On Thursday, Consumer Watchdog complained about the ad rejection in an open letter published on its site, and a Google representative confirmed Friday that Google had overturned the original decision but did not admit making any error.
"As the trademark owner, upon becoming aware of their letter, we decided--regardless of whether these particular ads violate our policies or not--to authorize them to run," a Google representative said.
Google's policy on trademarks in text of ads allows advertisers to use trademarks when "the primary purpose of the landing page of the ad must be to provide informative details about the goods or services corresponding to the trademark term." Consumer Watchdog's ads linked to a site called InsideGoogle.com, which is extremely critical of the company but is basically just a blog.