Bidding on keywords to increase your market is an interesting concept. For example I like Virgin Cola, I decide that I am going to start my own Coke Cola company called Leo Cola. Of course for my product to be successful I am going to have attract some of the Cola drinkers in other markets. For example Coke Cola, Virgin Cola. How do I do this? I buy advertising on key search words like Coke Cola, Pepsi. This would seem fair to me. Now Thomas Cook think that if you are selling advertising on your web site for them that if you bid on key words you are effectively making an easy sell. I would agree with this view point if Thomas Cook were paying me a flat fee for their banner being on my site say (£600) . Instead they are paying on a click and earn basis it would seem that the affiliate is the duper. Below is an excerpt from the email.
“As I’m sure you are aware, as of Monday 5th May, Google are making some changes and removing their Trademark restrictions on brand keywords. The Thomas Cook Group (TCG) would like to clarify our position on our Affiliates brand bidding policy. We want to make our policy as clear as possible to ensure everyone is aware of what can or can’t be done.
If you run any paid search activity, please take the time to read this to prevent any repercussions in the future;
– Thomas Cook does not allow any affiliate to bid on our brand terms. This includes brand terms, variations or misspellings.
– We will not be operating any closed groups to allow brand bidding.
– We do not allow direct linking or the use of our display URL or any variations of this.
– We do not allow affiliates to bid on competitors terms when promoting the TCG – we will not be bidding on our competitors brand terms and expect our affiliates to follow the same rules. Some examples of these include “Thomson”, “First Choice”, “Expedia”, “Cosmos”.
I can not stress enough that any affiliate caught doing any of the above will face being removed from the affiliate programme and having commissions reversed from any sale made from violations. With the aid of Commission Junction, we closely monitor our brand terms as well as using our own bespoke tools.”
All in all a bit harsh.