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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Advertisers prepare for battle as Google scraps search rules

UK advertisers are rushing to bid for keywords trademarked by rivals to take advantage of the changes to Google's paid-search strategy in the UK. Energy supplier Npower intends to bid on terms relating to its competitors as part of a strategy to build its brand online; other advertisers, including Diageo, Mercedes-Benz, O2 and Domino's, also plan to review their strategies. 'It's going to be like the Wild West for search advertisers,' said Robin Auld, Domino's director of sales and marketing. Changes to Google's policy mean that consumers using the search engine to hunt for specific brands will, for the first time, receive sponsored listings for their closest rivals. The new rules are expected to cause the cost of paid-search advertising to rocket, forcing the UK's biggest online advertisers into conflict. The changes, which come into effect on 5 May, have been described by the IPA as 'radical' and 'unexpected'. The body's head of digital, Nigel Gwilliam, said: 'This unilateral move by Google shifts the goalposts for all brand owners in the UK.' The IPA plans to call an emergency meeting with Google to ask it to delay the introduction of the strategy, which it claims will have a massive impact on offline activity as well as paid-search and online advertising. Advertiser reaction
  • Npower: 'This provides challenger brands with a whole host of new opportunities.'
  • Bacardi Global Brands: 'Bidding on rival keywords doesn't feel like an ethical way of promoting brands.'
  • Domino's: 'I can't imagine that there will be many adver-tisers in the UK that won't want to take part in this.'
  • O2: 'We are considering how we move forward with our paid-search strategy in light of this decision.'

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