Search Marketing: Interflora Wins Google AdWords Trademark Infringement

July 24, 2013 - Digital State Marketing

Interflora is a company that has featured heavily in the search marketing industry this year. The global flower delivery company was slapped with a penalty in February this year that meant they dropped dramatically in the search results, not only for their key terms but it was also apparent that they were not even ranking for their own name. There was a lot of speculation amongst search marketing companies regarding the penalty being due to paid links however Google has declined to comment on the specific reason behind the penalty.

The firm has also been at the centre of a battle with Marks and Spencer regarding the company’s Google Adwords campaigns. Interflora made a complaint that Marks and Spencer was breaching trademark infringement laws when it began bidding on the keyword “Interflora.”

However, the five-year battle has finally come to an end. The High Court of England and Wales has ruled in favour of the flower delivery firm. Whilst Google allows other companies to bid on trademark keywords, High Court Justice Arnold deemed the ads misleading as to the origin of the advertised goods. He said, the text ads “did not enable reasonably well-informed and reasonably attentive internet users” to determine if the ads referred for M&S or Interflora.

He also added, “On the contrary, as at 6 May 2008, a significant proportion of the consumers who searched for ‘Interflora’ and the other signs, and then clicked on M&S’s advertisements displayed in response to those searches, were led to believe, incorrectly, that M&S’s flower delivery service was part of the Interflora network.”

Following the ruling, both Interflora and M&S have the right to appeal the decision. The amount Marks & Spencer will be required to pay in damages and costs will be determined in Court later in the year.

If you would like more information about Google AdWords and how to engineer a successful PPC campaign, contact Digital State Marketing today. As a reputable search marketing company we are a Google AdWords certified partner and employ Google Analytics qualified individuals. We therefore have a wealth of knowledge and experience is devising and maintaining PPC campaigns for clients in a whole host of industries. Visit our website today for the latest news and information.