Big Clients Slam Google 'Piggybacking'

Smaller companies 'piggybacking' on larger brand names
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2008 1:00 PM CDT
Umbrellas are seen outside the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Monday, Dec. 10, 2007.    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Google is under fire from big companies upset about an advertising mechanism that sometimes results in smaller companies “piggybacking” on larger ones, the Wall Street Journal reports. For example, a hotel search turned up an ad labeled “Marriott Atlanta” that led to, which isn’t authorized to use the Marriott label. Google bans the practice, but some accuse the search giant of poor monitoring.

Large companies say piggybacking hurts their business, noting that if the practice continues they may shy away from Google advertising, which is currently working to expand. Last year, American Airlines sued Google over trademark infringement. The phenomenon is “utilizing our brand that we've built for more than 80 years for the benefit of someone else,” said an AA spokesman.