Marks & Spencer vs Unite in Google war

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  • February 28, 2008
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

According to The Times Britain’s biggest private sector union is holding a war against Marks & Spencers today using Google.

It seems they want to use Adwords to place sponsored results when people search for the brand in Google and divert them to their own site.

Unite, which has nearly two million members, plans to use searches for M&S on Google from 5am today to divert users to its list of grievances.

Anyone typing “M&S” or variations of “Marks & Spencer” into Google will see a direct link to the “Look Behind the Label” campaign put together by the T&G section of Unite, as well as normal search results.

The cost to the union of taking its views on to the global stage could be as little as £500.

Tony Woodley, the Unite general secretary, said: “The power of the internet gives unions the potential to go beyond its membership and reach out directly to millions of people and influence consumers.”

The only problem is that Google doesn’t let people bid on trademarked terms such as “Marks & Spencer” so the ads stopped showing after a few hours. The click through rate is likely to be very low and the whole stunt will have cost a tiny amount.

The real eye opener here is that 4 major newspapers in the UK wrote about the campaign.

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