Should Google be held responsible?
Montblanc Takes Google To Court To Obtain Identity Of, And Sue, Counterfeit Advertisers
Should Google be held responsible for keyword ads that mislead users into purchasing counterfeit Montblanc products?
Google AdWords allows companies to have advertisements and links visible on the Google search when certain words are being searched. It works as a database for consumer to search Google should not be solely responsible for counterfeit ad’s and links to companies selling counterfeit products. Although Google still has a system to try to weed out illegal companies from being present on their search engine. They have spent a lot of resources to eliminate illegal companies from interacting with customers looking for the real products so that consumers don’t start getting upset with Google and to maintain their loyalty. Of course with any system comes issues and unfortunately it is impossible to get rid of all illegal activity at once but they are trying. It is up to consumers to research before they make purchases from any website but I agree that for the actual company when counterfeit products of their name are being sold it brings down the actual companies loyalty and reputation. For this reason I believe it’s beneficial that Montblanc gains contact information for companies and ad’s that are selling their counterfeit products. If goggle cannot release contact information due to legal restrains and if suing them is the only way to get to these counterfeit programs then I guess it will have to be taken to that measure so that Montblanc doesn’t hinder their brand. Perhaps Google should be able to release contact information for proven counterfeit companies to the owner of the actual company to eliminate the need to sue Google.
I think that Google is doing everything they can to eliminate counterfeit advertisers but there are always ways around given instructions because they don’t think like humans. In this specific example, Google should assist Mount Blanc in stopping such counterfeit advertisers from doing harm to consumers any further. In class we’ve learned that Google wants to make their results as accurate as possible then why are they not assisting other legitimate businesses when the results are not only inaccurate and causing searchers to buy into negativity? I don’t think that Mount Blanc is trying to point the finger at anyone especially Google, all they want is to obtain the information of those counterfeit advertisers and conduct legal actions towards them or warn consumers about these sites. Mount Blanc should have had a contingency plan to threats like counterfeit advertisers while conducting searches on a daily basis on anything related to their brand; should be part of public relations to manage the brand.
As I read the comments I see Derek O’Harrow’s post and I guess I agree that this is the process that Google has to go through to legally give customers’ information out like this even though it might be obvious that some of their clients are counterfeit advertisers. But I think once the issue is noted by Mount Blanc, the least Google can do is stop advertising for those customers and notify them that there is currently a legal issue revolving around their ad therefore they would have to stop advertising it until the problem is solved and apologize for the inconvenience.
Advertisers select words that trigger their ads to receive the maximum amount they will pay per click. This in turn is used effectively by utilizing AdWords because it is the process of choosing key words that work for the company. Google has in fact; used protection systems that allow them to segment illegal companies from interaction in their system. Furthermore, they have spent much time and effort into compensating for these events thus I don’t believe they should be held responsible for this circumstance. I personally think Montblanc is just finding other alternatives for obtaining customer information from a powerhouse like Google. Rather than taking it to court, they should try and find other solutions for recovering this sort of data because quite frankly, Google does not need to go around giving other companies customer data.
I don't think Google is at fault for this situation. Unfortunately there are a lot of hackers, counterfeiters, and opportunist on the web. Monteblanc should focus on how they can keep their website updated and showing up as the first link that consumers see. In this situation, it seems that Monteblanc doesn't know who to go after, and they are going after Google because they need to gain money and reputation back. They should be asking Google what they need to do to make sure they are the first company that shows up. Alternately, what Google can do is implement the same technology Twitter has. The verified user technology would aid organizations from this type of disaster. Let it be a fee that a company has to pay, but when there are ad-words being searched, such as in this case, Monteblanc, where ever they are listed, would have a verified symbol beside their name. This would indicate a legitimate company and help the consumer make the right choice.
Google should be held responsible for keyword ads because it is their company that is causing all of the trouble. Counterfeiting is illegal but will low verification standards by Google, any person or company can steal anyone’s identity. All Google has to do is implement a standard verification system that would allow companies to be known to consumers once they search the company up. Taking an idea from Twitter, have a checkmark on the top right corner of the searches when they pop up. This will allow the consumer to see which website is the corporate website and which ones aren’t.
With Google UK showing no concern to the problem at hand with Montblanc, Montblanc feels that Google shows no remorse for them. Other companies seeing this effect in the UK will also question if Google actually cares about advertising their business or solely making money off of anyone and anything. This could eventually hurt the brand image of Google around the world, and companies could eventually turn to competitor search engines for advertising.
Montblanc is facing a very large problem and losing allot of money, but they cannot hold Google responsible for things beyond their knowledge. Google can’t be held responsible for advertisers who sell counterfeited goods; there are way too many business and services advertised on Google and for Google to be completely aware of these companies practicing illegal distribution. The only way Google can aid Montblac in stopping these fake advertisers, is by Montblanc teaming up with Google to search through a range of sites that sell Montblanc products and inform Google which sites are counterfeited (you know your retailers it’s not that hard to recognize). If Google isn’t informed, they can’t be held accountable; their job is facilitate these advertisers, businesses like Montblacn are in charge of being aware of who is a threat to their operation and proceed with legal action with those specific distributors.
I do not believe that Google should be held responsible for keyword ads that mislead users into purchasing counterfeit Montblanc items. There are so many counterfeits available for purchase online, making it uncontrollable to keep track of and decipher which items are authentic and which items are counterfeit. If Montblanc is so concerned about their products being counterfeited, they should modify their website and include a list of authorized retailers who sell their products, whether they are available for purchase online or in store. Therefore, this would show their consumers that they do care and try to control this issue and it would be a way for purchasers to verify their product so they can assure the product they are receiving is authentic. This should not be a problem for Google, considering Montblanc as a company has not made any changes to this on going issue that consumers are concerned about. And it's not like adding a list of authorized dealers to their web site is difficult, many retailers are already doing it such as-- Canada Goose who provides a list that can be found on their web site of what retailers are eligible to sell their product to ensure that their consumer is receiving an authentic item.
Google should be held responsible for providing the identity of the advertisers who are selling counterfeit products. Montblanc didn't necessarily want to pursue action against Google for the counterfeit activity. However, Google has been unable to help the company find the advertisers who need to be held accountable. Taking Google to court seems to be the only option left for Montblanc to uncover the fraudulent companies identities. Montblanc should not sit back and let these advertisers take their business. They need to find the people doing it and recover their losses.
In this case, Montblanc should be granted more full cooperation from Google in its fight against the counterfeiters. It is not that Google is not doing its best to discourage various counterfeiters from taking advantages of its search engine, but it has not done enough to help legitimate businesses to take legal actions against the offending criminal organizations. You have to help the official businesses root out illegal ones; Google is no longer one of many search engine options out there, it is a de facto choice of search engine in North America and various other parts of the world. Because of its huge public presence, its responsibility and obligations toward law abiding public is so much greater, and it is especially true toward the various legitimate businesses that supported Google's business operations. In short, Google must help its business partners fight against the illegal business operations that take advantages of its search engine by providing more information to the prosecutors. This will seriously discourage various illegally operation businesses to post their ad to Google search engine, and that will be a winning situation for everybody, not just a legitimate business like Montblanc, but for Google (who will gain extra public good will toward it) and the general members of public who can safely assume that laws are presiding even in seemingly chaotic internet world. Hehehehe!
I think Montblanc is only going after Google because they need money to get back on track because of the situation that just happened. Google is the top search engines website in the world Montblanc blaming on Google is the best way to go. I also think Google should be held responsible for the counterfeits that are going on. Google worth is 10 billion dollars I am pretty sure they can put some money to getting this counterfeit problem fixed. Montblanc needs to get there information back to get back on their feet.
Firstly I believe that it is the human element in this situation that is the weakest link, customers who are going to make a purchase online especially a big purchase like a Montblanc pen should spend some extra time and care in researching where and who really is taking their money and other information.
In my opinion Google should not be held responsible, they have been cooperating with Montblanc in solving this case and are doing everything in their power to help. You cannot expect Google to give out details of their customers with just a request, going to court makes sense as it makes the issue official and gives Google the legal power to disclose the counterfeiters information and thereby exposing their identity.
If Google takes anymore steps to curb freedom in order to prevent counterfeiters the Google search will not be the free utopia that we all know and love.
Google should be held accountable for fraudulent acts like this on their site. There should be more strict regulations on Google for advertising. for example twitter. twitter just doesn't verify anyone, it takes time and processes which involves the individual to present identification that allows twitter to make sure that when they are verifying an account, the person stated is the real deal. similarly Google, the large Internet search engine that it is, should have similar procedures in place that make sure that the ad's they display are representative of the company it states is advertising. False advertising is not only hurtful to the company that is being counterfeited but also to Google itself. if Google is shrugging off such issues and not paying specific attention to it then the tendency of it happening could be increased causing consumers and businesses to be aware and not so trusting of Google when they see ads. this can also hurt Google by making consumers who were caught by fraud artist to spread negative news about Google causing consumers in general to stop using their Internet search engine services. Google also should comply with the company and release the data surrounding the company that posted those fake ad's. I believe it is in the best interest of consumers and businesses to know that Google would take such a step to show those who do commit such acts that they are not safe and that if they are caught doing such acts they will be found and charged.
Google should not be held responsible for the counterfeit Montblanc goods being sold through Google's ads because they are not the one directly selling these counterfeit goods. They are in their right to not release the information of the accused unless ordered by court because that would be a breach of privacy for them and would cause a much bigger headache if the public finds out. It's not like Google UK is not co-operating with Montblanc, it states Montblanc acknowledges that Google has been removing offending ads and taking action against the advertisers. Those ads just keep coming back and Google does state they are investing lots of resources and money to combat ad violators. With so much counterfeit goods produced and sold each day, some fakes that are so good even retailers cannot tell the difference, it is a hard battle to fight.
Yes, Google should be held responsible. Similar to the concept of verification on websites, Google needs to understand that Montblanc pens is the only Montblanc pens. That being said, Montblanc should own any and all rights to the relevant key search words and they're the ones that should appear before counterfeits (counterfeits may be pushed but they'll always exist). Also, Google should develop a system that clearly depicts which search results are from verified sellers and push down counterfeits. Said strategy can be developed with both parties coming to an agreement. Companies like Montblanc will benefit by seeing increase in sales rather than decrease and Google will benefit by becoming a credible hub that provides links to legitimate sellers.
I do understand Google's resistance to withdraw the information requested by Montblanc but withdrawing said information will likely breach Google's AdWords contracts and besides that it's also unethical (as is counterfeiting).
Google should be held responsible.
Personally, I don’t feel that Google is at fault , Google has invested about $60 million last year to eliminate counterfeiters , hackers and so forth, and managed to bring the “crime” rate down by 95%. Google understands that this is a major problem and continues to invest in technology that will help eliminate counterfeiters . The situation with Monteblanc and Google might have occurred because Monteblanc did not invest in the right keywords. In order to eliminate this issue towards the future, Monteblanc needs to have a consultation with Google and choose the right Adwords for its target market.
I think Google should be held responsible in this matter considering the circumstances of this specific case. Montblanc is a prominent brand that has been around for a long time. If Google is allowing these advertisers to sell these products to their consumers, it is aiding into the distribution of counterfeit products out there. Which is quite an issue with online shopping for consumer goods that are high end designers. This company has spent a lot of time and money into building this brand for themselves, they don't want counterfeit products with their name and logo on it to be sold at a cheaper price. It completely devalues the worth of their name, and that's not right. At the same time, I agree with the comment that Google really shouldn't be promoting this type of advertising on their search engine because as a user myself, I trust that when I type in brand names for products that I may want to shop for or want to know more about, I don't want to have to second guess my trust with Google. Granted, Google probably didn't know that this company was selling these items but it has been brought to their attention. They could have just taken the advertisements down and discontinue their business with them, and allowed Montblanc to take over in the legal battle against them. So I feel like Google added themselves into the situation when it could've easily been avoided. And they put Montblanc into this position to exhaust all attempts to rectify the situation and stop the distribution of their counterfeit products into the market.
To answer the question, no I do not think that Google should be held responsible. However, I do think that such a large and reputable organization should have better business practices and ethics. By law I do not think that it is Google’s responsibility to protect individual businesses and companies from fraud, due to the capacity of the site I think it is an unreasonable expectation. In light of the situation, however, I think that it is Google’s social responsibility to deal with this situation and work alongside Montblanc to help them to solve this problem. Not only would doing so work in Montblanc’s favour but it will also be looking out for the best interest of Google users who have been misled to purchasing fraud items through the use of Google.
I also find it intolerable that Google continuously claims to have removed these ads and yet the issue continues, whether this is because of inaccurate information on Google’s part or because the fraudulent vixens continue to find their way through Google’s security, whatever the reason I think it is unacceptable. Google should be doing everything in their power to prevent this issue from reoccurring in order to protect their users, Montblanc’s reputation and most importantly Google’s reputation. If situations like this continued to arise, and the public continued to be informed of this issues; majority of Google’s users would no longer use the site when needing to purchase something and may simply resort to it for information. This would be a hard hit for such a highly valued company, but it would be a fall that they deserve to take for showing such negligence.
I would like to hear what Google has to say with regards to this specific situation. If all of the facts stated are true and not completely biased then although I do not think Google should be held responsible, I do think that they need to pull up their socks and learn to do the right thing. However, since this situation has no benefit to the company, I feel as though there must be more to it; more reasons as to why Google is taking so long to correct this issue.
I don't think that Google should be held legally responsible for what has happended in this situation. The counterfeiters, in this case, are the guilty ones.
It would, however, be in Google's best interest to be doing all they can to prevent this type of advertising in the future. Clearly, they need to do more to stop unauthorized parties from using a company's brand name for their keyword ad. They should also share with Montblanc any information they possess on the counterfeiters, if they have any legal ability to do so.
I do not feel that Google should be held responsible. In my opinion they are taking every measure possible right now to try to thwart fraudulent companies from doing business under false pretenses on its site. As with any business, it is difficult to put systems in place that do not have flaws where savvy consumers can find loopholes. Yes I understand that some may think that a company of such stature in the digital industry would be able to develop a plan to decrease counterfeit clients - especially since they have been able to dominate the world so far! Dedicating $60 million to removing counterfeit accounts is nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately for Montblanc, they were in the 5% of fake accounts that weren't shut down.
I think it is a touchy subject when getting into the legalities of what sort of information Google should divulge to its clients regarding forged accounts. They have a right to protect their customer information under the Privacy Act (where do they draw the line), but in the same argument, Montblanc has a right to pursue their infringement of trademark claim.
Beyond Google's attempts to hinder fraud, I feel that Montblanc must realize that a large part of doing business involves constant threats from competition, whether it be impostors or legit rivals. Through their desperation they may have forgotten that there are other ways to find who stands behind the counterfeit accounts.
Whats interesting about this situation is not essentially the relationship between google and montblanc, it is the relationship between google's operating procedures and their clients. Think about the precedent this would set and the message it would send to google's other Adwords clients; It is in Google's best interest from a business perspective to withhold this information until they are inevitably court ordered to do so. Releasing the information to montblanc would broadcast an image that Google disregards client data and privacy, destroying credibility and ultimately affecting their bottom line. Adwords is Google's cash cow, and they will protect it in whatever ways necessary.
I do not think that Google should be held responsible for the events that have occurred with Montblanc. As written in their blog, Google has, and continues, to make strong efforts to monitor their Adwords and remove any activity that they think is unethical, inaccurate, and/or counterfeit. The issues however, is that Google is a massive company, and the internet is a gigantic marketplace. It is virtually impossible for Google to monitor every single thing that passes through their network, but as stated, they continue to develop better systems that will hopefully eliminate this issue in future, or contain it as best they can.
Some of the blame could also be put on Montblanc, for not monitoring the internet, and searching their name to see if it has been misused or if it can be linked to any inappropriate or counterfeit activity.
Finally, I don't think that Google should release any information to Montblanc, for it would go against privacy rules and regulations that Google has set out for their organization. By breaching their confidentiality and privacy policies, it portrays a negative image, and sets a precedent that could hurt the future value of Adwords.
I do not believe that Google should be held responsible for keywords that are misleading. Google cannot be held responsible for companies that sell counterfeit goods. There are so many companies that do this and Google can’t keep up. If Google was not informed that there were counterfeit websites, Google should not be held responsible. The best thing that Google can do at this point is take down the websites and ads for the counterfeit websites. The article states that the Google system does not know if the advertisements are fake or not, therefore there is no way that Google can be at fault. Monteblanc should team up with Google and create the right keywords for the search. Although Google’s search is causing the trouble, it is just a computerized system that searches for the keywords, in that note there is no way that Google should be held accountable.
Google should focus on filtering counterfeit and fake websites. This will improve their image, and keep consumers using their search engine over competitors. In terms of the Mount Blanc case, Google, in my opinion is doing the right thing. YES - they should filter websites that are harmful to not only their image, but the imagine of paying adword customers, such as Mount Blanc, but Google is protecting their customers private information, fake or not. Mount Blanc should have taken precautionary measures when they launched their website and adwords with Google. They should have paid a premium to ensure that they were the top appearing Mount Blanc search. If these measures were taken earlier, maybe Mount Blanc wouldn't be in such a image damaging position within the market. Mount Blanc needs to repair their brand and focus on claiming their name back, and the top searched ads that appear under the Mount Blanc category.
There are always three sides to every story. Google can point the finger at Montblanc, Montblanc can point the finger back at Google, but the truth lies in the center. What has really happened here is irrelevant to Google AdWords. It's funny to see how Montblanc did not learn of this "copycat" until their customers mentioned they were referred through Google AdWords. Seems to me like Montblanc thought they were a fearless company with no counterfeiting threats, which is unrealistic to say the least. Yes, I understand that they are asking to obtain who this threat is from Google and yes, Google allowed this counterfeiting threat to use AdWords, but how did Montblanc fail to see this? It's a shame that Google is caught in the middle, and yes they should be held responsible, but when you have hundreds of thousands of customers, how are you supposed to ensure each and every one does not have a threat, such as this, in their midst. I feel that Montblanc is simply pointing fingers at Google, this way their customers won't be so upset that they let a counterfeiter fool them. Yes, Google should give up who the "criminal" is but, to be held responsible is absurd. The real company responsible is Montblanc, because if they were really that in tune with customers and competition, they would have seen an earlier pattern of fake Montblanc products.
I do not believe that Google is responsible for the counterfeit therefore they should not have been held responsible for the situation. Due to everyone being tech savvy in this generation, therefore counterfeit has become easy done by many. Even so, Google is a successful search engine, hence it should be very update as what is out, in the sense of the threat and harm that they may face. this shows that Google is not stepping up to the competition that are out there, in order to gain their consumer back they need to act on this situation and have new set of rules as to who can advertise and who is on their the search engine. They are able to do so by keeping a close eye on their search engine and hiring to monitor the activity that is happening on the site. Google has no way of finding out which advertisement are fake or real, therefore Google is definitely not at fault.
Google should focus on filtering counterfeit and fake websites but Google is protecting their customers and their users private information, whether it is fake or not. Mount Blanc should have taken preventive measures when they launched their website and adwords with Google I think that Montblanc is giving the blame to Google, this way their customers won't be so upset that they let something fake fool them.
Google should be responsible for providing the information that will allow Montblanc to take legal action against the people responsible for committing the fraud. I am surprise that Google would not be more helpful in this matter. This issue has a two-fold negative effect for Google. Firstly, as they had stated in their blog, that Google-users will not trust Google Ads for fear of other fraudulent advertisers trying to scam them. Secondly, a business looking to advertise on Google may think twice, as they will not want to work with a company that is not willing to be more helpful in these types of situations. If I was Google, I would help to dissolve this issue fast, before their image is hinder from it.