Good news for naughty affiliates. Nightmare for real brands.

Google are moving inline with their policies in the US/Canada.

We’re writing to inform you that we’re changing our trademark complaint procedure in the UK and Ireland. This change may affect how we handle the trademark complaint you currently have on file with Google.

If you’ve submitted a complaint letter requesting that we prevent advertisers from using certain trademark terms anywhere in their ad text, we will continue our efforts to support your request. However, from May 5, 2008, our trademark complaint investigations will no longer result in Google monitoring or restricting keywords for ads served to users in the UK and Ireland. This will bring our procedure in line with the approach taken in the US and Canada. Complaints received on or after today will be processed under our revised procedure.

You do not need to file your trademark complaint with us again unless you would like to amend it based on the new guidelines. For more detailed information regarding our trademark complaint procedure, we invite you to review our revised complaint procedure, posted online at http://www.google.co.uk/tm_complaint.html.

To learn more about this trademark policy revision, please visit http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=92877&hl=en_US.

Sincerely,

Advertising Legal Support Team

More details on the upcoming policy change here.

The new policy will have a big impact on advertisers brand bidding, providing opportunities to bid against competitors brands while of course making it more difficult to protect your own.

Read more about understanding when to bid on your own brand here.