sam.engel

Recent Posts

Announcing Custom Processes with Google & Bing

We're excited to announce the launch of our new custom processes with Google and Bing! These processes enable us to provide feedback directly from the search engines about the status of your trademark complaints, giving you better visibility into your results whenever you report a trademark violation through our system. Our hope is that these new improvements will make it easier than ever to protect your brand from third-party trademark abusers in paid search.

sam.engel
Mar 6, 2014

Affiliate Exploits the Oscars Trademark to Drive Sales

The Oscars are fast-approaching and will air this Sunday, March 2nd. Web searches for related terms tend to spike in the days leading up to the show, and this year seems to be no exception. Just check out this Google Trends graph and you can see the uptick starting to form.

sam.engel
Feb 26, 2014

These Valentine's Day PPC Ads Made Us Chuckle

Valentine's Day sure seems to bring out the creativity from paid search teams. Maybe it's easier to stand out when so many advertisers are using the traditional jewelry and chocolates narratives, or perhaps it's just fun to manufacture relevance to the topic of love.

sam.engel
Feb 14, 2014

Super Bowl Trademark Abused by Toolbar Sites

This year's Super Bowl broke a record for online streaming. More people than ever chose to watch the game online, with an average of 528,000 devices tuning into Fox's online broadcast each minute.

sam.engel
Feb 6, 2014

Affiliate Found Hijacking Rich Ads in Search

Yahoo made an interesting move a few years ago by introducing branded favicons for certain paid listings. The concept made a lot of sense at the time (and to this day). Not only would the new visual element encourage clicks—it would also add a level of trust for the searcher. Considering the potential for brand confusion with search ads (via tactics like ad hijacking, search arbitrage, and various other forms of trademark abuse), this was a win-win for brands and consumers alike. Brands could make themselves stand out. Consumers could be assured that they were heading to their intended destination.

sam.engel
Jan 28, 2014

Reflecting on the Pinnacle Awards and Future of Affiliate Marketing

2013 brought a number of interesting twists and turns for the affiliate marketing industry. We experienced the abrupt shutdown of the Google Affiliate Network, some tough new questions to answer about disclosure, and even a public denigration of the entire industry as a "scam".

sam.engel
Jan 21, 2014

When Is It Okay for Resellers to Bid on Your Brand?

Outside of the typical affiliate scenarios, there are plenty of other cases where marketing partnerships can run into brand bidding issues. Whether it's hotels and OTAs, product manufacturers and retailers, or brands and franchisees, there's really no perfect answer. Some brands may welcome it as a means of dominating the search results—others might consider a form of brand poaching. Regardless, I figured I'd call attention to a new example of partner bidding that I noticed over the weekend.

sam.engel
Jan 6, 2014

Affiliate Disclosure on Twitter: Still a Work in Progress

Earlier this year, the FTC released an update to its .Com Disclosure Guidelines. The document expanded the applicability of the original guidelines to new marketing channels such as blogs and social media, and has some interesting implications for the affiliate marketing industry. We interviewed Eric Goldman about these implications. And more recently, industry veteran Tricia Meyer wrote a piece in ReveNews where she identified affiliate managers as the party that's primarily responsible for affiliate disclosure.

sam.engel
Dec 17, 2013

Affiliate Hijackers Take Advantage of Cyber Monday

Online merchants were promoting deals in full force earlier this week, leading to a record high for Cyber Monday sales. That uptick should provide many eCommerce companies with a significant holiday boost. But at the same time, the increase in demand carried some questionable (and potentially costly) affiliate behavior with it.

sam.engel
Dec 4, 2013

Beware of Black Friday Brand Bidding

The holiday shopping season can be a great boost for merchants, but it's not without its compliance challenges. Because of the tremendous uptick in demand, affiliates have more incentive to employ non-compliant tactics. Furthermore, since affiliates know that merchants' marketing teams will be swamped, they might be expecting to get away with such violations.

sam.engel
Nov 26, 2013
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