NY AG Buys Google Ads On Keywords Of Company He's Investigating

from the interesting-political-strategy dept

While most US courts have determined that there’s no trademark infringement in buying a search engine advertisement based on a trademarked keyword, there are still some cases going forward. So, it’s a bit surprising (though, amusing) to find out that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was caught buying trademarked keywords promoting his campaign for governor. The keywords in question were for AIG, the big insurance conglomerate that Spitzer has been investigating for fraud. From a publicity standpoint, perhaps it makes sense. People searching on AIG may associate Spitzer’s name with the company, but this is a bit trickier than someone just trying to get some publicity off of a popular keyword. Spitzer now claims it was a mistake, and the ads have been removed. Of course, what’s to stop someone else from buying the same ads, and linking them to Spitzer’s campaign site? In fact, at the time of this posting, it looks like some random advertiser has picked up on this story and is advertising some random anti-Google site, claiming that Eliot Spitzer and Google “overstep their boundaries.” Once again, people seem to be trying to make a point through popular keywords.

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