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Google Grants - Nonprofit - Good/bad Adwords Policy?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 01:25 PM

A non-profit client of mine recently got approved for Google Grants - I'm setting up the campaigns, ads, etc.

One of the things that she wants me to do in the ad is something like:

L1: Got a sick widget?
L2/3: Recently obtained a sick widget from ABC Co? Fill out our complaint form.
L4: www.oursite.org/complaint_form.php

In the key words, we would probably list ABC company, the widget and a few other things.

What I'm knawing at is whether this is an appropriate used of Google Adwords/Grants and whether it is likely to raise any unwanted raised eyebrows. After getting approved I really don't want to see us get banned for being stupid. She has several variations, different businesses named, that we are dealing with. The cause is just, but unsure of implementation?


#2 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 03:08 PM

personally I wouldn't go down that route, I can well see Google pulling the plug on it.

#3 bobmeetin

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 04:55 PM

I agree but I really needed to hear what others say. Having spent a couple hours filling out the original application, then waiting 5 months for the review and approval, and probably a day or more to set up the campaigns and such, there is quite a lot at risk, none the least of which is $10,000 per month in FREE AdWords.

I assume you/I are both talking about the same master Grants plug and not just a slap on the wrist 'Ad Group' plug.

She commented several times that things like this are done with newspaper and similar ads regularly, I'm being too paranoid. Who me, paranoid?

I'll see what I can do to persuade her along the lines of some organic techniques/pages.

#4 Jill

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 05:14 PM

Maybe I'm just naive, but I don't understand the question.

Does the grant come with restrictions?

#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 06:18 PM

I don't know about the naieve part... No I did not read anything about restrictions with Google Grants, but in keeping with safe advertising practices, I don't wish to tip an iceberg.

Does Google frown in general on placing an AdWord ads similar to what I constructed and because this is via the Grant program and FREE, will they likely be more meticulous in what is deemed a quality, nice ad?

Sample:
CODE
L1: Got a sick widget?
L2/3: Recently obtained a sick widget from ABC Company? Fill out our complaint form.
L4: www.oursite.org/complaint_form.php


Yes I can see politicians doing television campaigns all day talking naming their competition and such and that is apparently OK for TV and newspaper and radio, but since this is an awarded program, are the reviewers likely to frown on the part where we mention another business name in the ad and keywords and boot us out of the program with out tails between our legs? The door permanently shut, you get the picture.

In this case, we collect complaints regarding this topic and the complaints are related to specific retail businesses by name.

#6 Jill

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 07:34 AM

Well, you obviously have to follow all Google Adwords rules. If those types of ads are not allowed, then don't do them. If they are, then you should be fine. (I don't know the rules on that.)

I don't think it would matter whether it's a grant or not. The rules are the rules and should be the same for all, unless they specified differently in the grant.

#7 MauriceWalshe

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:19 AM

QUOTE(bobmeetin @ Jul 1 2010, 12:18 AM) View Post
I don't know about the naieve part... No I did not read anything about restrictions with Google Grants, but in keeping with safe advertising practices, I don't wish to tip an iceberg.

Does Google frown in general on placing an AdWord ads similar to what I constructed and because this is via the Grant program and FREE, will they likely be more meticulous in what is deemed a quality, nice ad?

Sample:
CODE
L1: Got a sick widget?
L2/3: Recently obtained a sick widget from ABC Company? Fill out our complaint form.
L4: www.oursite.org/complaint_form.php


Yes I can see politicians doing television campaigns all day talking naming their competition and such and that is apparently OK for TV and newspaper and radio, but since this is an awarded program, are the reviewers likely to frown on the part where we mention another business name in the ad and keywords and boot us out of the program with out tails between our legs? The door permanently shut, you get the picture.

In this case, we collect complaints regarding this topic and the complaints are related to specific retail businesses by name.


Well political debate(in the widest sense) has its own rules which are considerably diferent to advertising, as you are concerned I would say trust your instincts that this is shady.

Charities have a long track record of beliving the rules dont aply to them. I once did a course on HR issues (ie cases that looked like ending up in court) and the course tutor commented that "THE WORST" place for bullying was not the city or high presure sales jobs but Charities. And I am I sure that some major uk charities drove a cart and horses though some of the strict rules on using bank and CC details.








#8 bobmeetin

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:00 AM

Yes, I can see that non-profits might have the impression that they live above the law. Politicians as well - although my phone is listed as do not call and such, I just got a voice mail from a politician wanting votes. Who in their right mind would vote for someone who believes this is right? One born every day...

I found the AdWords policy guidelines and it does not seem to specifically address this question. The Competitive Claims section is loosely related, not much else. My gut says don't do it, don't risk it.

Google may not reply, but I found a link to contact Google by email regarding policy, so using my AdWords account I sent in the question.

In the mean time I've googled all sorts of phrases to pull up AdWords results, also a variety of phrases that would be related to the client's business. I'm hardpressed to find a single AdWords result which either identifies a business or name in the ad that is not related to the advertiser. This in itself gives the impression of unwritten policy. Now I wait...

Edited by bobmeetin, 01 July 2010 - 10:31 AM.


#9 Jill

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:25 AM

I am pretty sure you're not allowed to use another business's name in your ad. You can use them as trigger keywords, but they usually get unapproved in the ads. At least that's how it was many years ago.

#10 bobmeetin

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:45 AM

I was about to punt and let it slide for a few days, then I did a couple more searches:

hsus save
aspca abuse
aspca cruel

The results seem to support what Jill just said. You'll find a number of results, especially with the last one, which don't include aspca in the copy. I don't know if this is sanctioned, but it does loosely exist.

#11 Catz

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 01:08 AM

You are right to think this through.

Your ads must reflect the mission of your organization, and your keywords must be relevant to your programs and services.

http://www.google.co...ls.html#details

They advise you to review the difference between mission-based ads and ads not based on your mission, showing an example of what is acceptable and what is not. When creating new ads or editing existing ads, you must ensure that your ads reflect your organization's mission.

That would be the mission stated in the Google grant application, rather than a mission stated on a website if it is different.



#12 bobmeetin

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:14 AM

Oh for sure. Again, when I'm in unfamiliar territory (policy vs technology), I ask questions. There's that good ole expression, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." My adapted version, "Just because they do, doesn't me we should."

Google got back to me. They addressed the issues as trademark related and of course referred me to the trademark policy. In general whether it is ad copy or key phrases you should have a business's permission to use their trademark - and apparently there is a form to obtain that. I don't know if they have any technical ways implemented to monitor for non-compliance. Wouldn't it be cool is big brother was always there and watching?

I suspect that if you don't have permission and the ad comes up in a negative context then there is more likelihood that a complaint is registered than not.

In this case, the ad type that the business owner would like doing, although negative in nature, is within the context of the Mission statement. But it would violate the trademark policy, so "no" is the end result and I'm happy to hear that.





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