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An article in Marketing Magazine has identified fall out already occurring between Asda and Tesco over Google's decision to allow pay per click competition on brand trademarks.
In the past, one brand was never allowed to bid on another company's trademarked keywords; however, recently Google took the decision to allow competition in the US and has, since the beginning of the May, allowed it in the UK. This decision has not been universally popular in the US and there are reportedly a number of lawsuits pending.
Tesco has taken a stand and said it won't bid on other companies' trademarks but Asda has not ruled out the strategy.
For smaller companies it provides an interesting ethical dilemma: a smaller, less well-financed brand could now begin to put up comparative ads directly against their bigger, more-established competition at relatively low cost, but it would have to be sure it was comfortable trading on another's hard earned brand equity.
The debates are sure to run on and on.