Croud are very pleased to be apart of Interflora’s victory in their long running court case against Marks and Spencer and their use of the “Interflora” trade mark as a Google AdWord to advertise its M&S Flowers & Gifts. During the court case Croud’s Head of UK PPC, Adam Rose, was supporting Interflora, acting as an expert witness.
Marks and Spencer paid Google to promote its own flower business in search results any time a user looks up Interflora’s name. The M&S link would appear directly below Interflora’s in the search engine’s “sponsored links” section. Croud’s Adam gave evidence about Interflora’s keyword advertising and the impact of Marks and Spencer’s keyword advertising on Interflora.
The ruling Judge, Mr Justice Arnold said:
“the M&S advertisements which are the subject of Interflora’s claim did not enable reasonably well-informed and reasonably attentive internet users to ascertain whether the service referred to in the advertisements originated from [M&S or Interflora] … On the contrary, as at 6 May 2008, a significant proportion of the consumers who searched for “interflora” and the other Signs, and then clicked on M&S’s advertisements displayed in response to those searches, were led to believe, incorrectly, that M&S’s flower delivery service was part of the Interflora network.”
Since February 2013 Croud have been managing Interflora’s PPC and social media app activities while Adam has been assisting Interflora in the case since legal proceedings were first issued back in 2008.
The judgment means that Marks and Spencer cannot bid on the trademarked term ‘Interflora’ in the Google AdWords programme.
For PPC advertising in general this is a landmark ruling which lays precedent to other advertisers who consider brand-bidding as a tactic to build awareness.
Not only does today’s ruling protect brands like Interflora but it also protects the general consumer when searching for a particular product or service online and will help to limit the level of confusion recognised in this case.”
Well done, Adam!