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Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has revised its trademark policy to make it easier for advertisers to include brand names in the text of their ads. Until now, companies could not run ads with a trademarked brand name in the text if they did not own the trademark. Google uses a newspaper analogy to explain the reasoning behind the move: “Imagine opening your Sunday paper and seeing ads from a large supermarket chain that didn’t list actual products for sale; instead, they simply listed the categories of products available – offers like ‘Buy discount cola’ and ‘Snacks on sale.’ The ads wouldn’t be useful since you wouldn’t know what products are actually being offered.”
The policy shift could improve Google’s bottom-line. In a report Friday, BroadpointAmTech Analyst Benjamin Schachter writes that it is likely advertisers will bid more for an ad if they can have a product name in the text. But the move will not please companies already upset that Google lets advertisers buy ads that show up whenever someone searches for the brand of a competitor. Just this week, for instance, a Texas software company filed a class-action lawsuit against Google over that policy, alleging trademark infringement. And Google has already settled similar suits with Geico and American Airlines.