Prepare for the Yahoo-Microsoft adCenter Trademark Policy Update March 3

Yahoo / Microsoft Update Paid Search Trademark Policy

Yahoo / Microsoft Update Paid Search Trademark Policy

Starting March 3, 2011, adCenter will no longer review trademark keyword complaints. However, adCenter will continue to investigate brand owner complaints related to trademark use in ad text. (Please note: The policy for trademark use in ad copy remains unchanged.)

Policy Change – Example


Coke cannot bid on the term “Pepsi”. If Coke submits “Pepsi” as a keyword the ad is routed to Microsoft‘s editorial and the keyword eventually declined.

New Policy March 3rd

Coke can bid on the term “Pepsi” and the keyword is instantly placed online.

Why is this a Big Win?

I think the simple answer is – this policy finally aligns with the Adwords trademark policy and, overall, become consistent with the industry standard. Ultimately, this should bring added value to the marketplace.

Additionally, this change will allow advertisers to more easily import campaigns into adCenter and hopefully prevent a lot of the error messages that are all too familiar when trying to import campaigns via the cumbersome adCenter desktop tool.

What can you do to take advantage of this trademark policy update? Start updating your accounts in preparation!

Differentiate Your Ad Copy

  • Include trademark & ‘Official Site’.
  • Include pricing and unique selling points in ad copy

Optimize Keywords and Bids

  • Review bid strategy

Ensure trademarks do not  inappropriately feature in ads

  • Ensure ads are clear, do not confuse users, and trademarks do not appear incorrectly in ads either in text or dynamic insertion techniques

You can read the full policy update here.

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