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The Effect of Whitelisted Brand Usage in Text Ads

AdWords Trademark Policy enables trademark owners to file a complaint with Google about the use of their trademark in other advertisers’ ad copy. Trademark owners can also authorize designated advertisers to use the designer name.

We have always believed that it has a big impact on the performance of the ad if you’re authorised to use the designer name or not. To prove this, we have set up a test framework to better understand the impact on different KPIs.

Test Setup

The first test scenario was a CTR test where we tested three different ads:

ad 1: no mention of the designer name
ad 2: designer name mentioned only in the display url
ad 3: designer name mentioned in the headline, one of the description lines and in the display url

We set ad delivery to “rotate evenly” to ensure that each of the ads received roughly the same amount of traffic.

The second test we did was to learn about the effects on CPC, average ad position and quality score. We created three campaigns which contained exactly the same keywords with identical bids, but a different ad. To avoid cannibalisation, day parting was set to an alternating two hour schedule.


We expected that the ad variation that doesn’t contain the designer name has the worst quality score, the highest CPC, the lowest ad position and the worst CTR. We guessed the best performing ad is the one with the designer name in the display url as well as in the ad text.

CTR is 86% Higher When Using Designer Name in the Ad Text Compared to Not Using It At All

As expected the CTR was the highest for the ad with designer name in the ad text as well as in the display url. But we saw that only using the designer name in the display url, which is not forbidden by the AdWords Trademark Policy, has a positive effect on the CTR as well. It is 37 % higher compared to the generic ad.

CTR comparison

Using the Designer Name in the Ad Text Also Has a Positive Effect on the Quality Score

The quality score for ads that do not contain the designer name at all and the ones using it only in the display url are nearly the same. But you can reach a quality score that’s up to 40 % better when you use the designer name in your ad text as well as in the display url.

Comparison Avg. Quality Score

CPC is 22 % Lower For Ad Variation That Contains the Designer Name

With a 22 % lower CPC you can reach a 26 % higher ad position when using the designer name in your ad text. But it’s interesting that using the designer name only in the display URL does not have any positive effect to neither avg. CPC nor the ad position.

Ad position


The test has reinforced our assumptions that ad performance is much better when using the designer name in the ad. When using designer names in the ad text, quality score improved up to 40 %, resulting in a better ad position whereas CPCs were 22 % lower. CTR is up to 86 % higher in when using the designer name in the ad text.

So, if you’re not whitelisted already for the designers you offer, it’s definitely worth requesting authorisation from the trademark owners in order to improve the performance of your ad.


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Marina Simmerl

Marina Simmerl works as Teamlead and Senior PPC Manager at crealytics. She has 5+ years of experience in PPC and she managed many client accounts of different industries. Her expertise lies in account strategies and client communication.