From National Underwriter Geico going to trial with Google.
NU Online News Service, Dec. 9, 11:15 a.m. EST—Geico's legal battle, to keep Google from letting rival insurers attach their ads onto Web searches for information about Geico, is due for trial next Monday in federal court, an attorney for the insurer said
Details of the agreement were not made public, but inputting the name Geico and using the Yahoo search engine did not reveal any rival content. By contrast a search for Geico on Tuesday turned up a page of listings that not only included Geico but an ad for five competitive auto quotes from www.insurme.com.
A search for Geico on Google today yielded results that included an ad for free insurance quotes from www.NetQuote.com. In addition to information about rival insurers the NetQuote page included information about Geico.
Google and Overture, it was charged, were selling the Geico trademarked names to “advertisers who have no connection to Geico and who seek to drive Internet traffic to their own Web sites when consumers perform a search using one of the famous Geico Marks.”
The bottom line, Google is using the brand Geico without their consent. Just because Google is not directly selling insurance, doesnt give them the right to use the Geico name.
Geico said the action was occurring without its consent and was causing confusion among consumers who used the search engines to search for information or contact the insurer.
Google said that, “When Geico surveyed consumers abut ads placed by the keyword ‘geico,' but without the word ‘geico' in the title or text of the ad, not one of those consumers was confused.”
They may not be confused but when I do a search for Netquote how come I dont find Geico anywhere on the page?
Geico has spent millions of dollars and hired some of the most creative minds to make Geico a brand people know by name. Dont get greedy Google, work with these brandnames. Everyone can win in this emerging space.
Better yet, theres a new application coming that wont require search engines to be used. A direct connect like feature that completely bypasses the SE.
When the power shifts back to the brand, the SE will wish they made nice nice now.
Plus, how can you take money out of the cute lil lizard's pocket?