Google lifts prohibition
Google is to allow spirit brands to run search campaigns for the first time as the search engine company looks to drive slowing AdWords click rates.
The search giant will lift restrictions in the New Year, letting spirit brands run branded search campaigns tied in with overall marketing activity. However, advertisers will not be allowed to promote or incentivise actual sales.
Google is understood to want to encourage spirit brands to run search campaigns as part of a wider media buy across its portfolio of channels, including AdSense and YouTube.
Google is set to make a formal announcement in the next few days, and while the actual date of UK restrictions being lifted has not been finalised it is expected to be in the first two weeks of January.
The move is the latest by the company to boost click rates on AdWords, which former Google chief financial officer George Reyes acknowledged had slowed when revealing its Q2 results back in July.
It follows October's lifting of gambling and gaming restrictions on AdWords. Back in May, Google allowed brands to bid on rival trademark terms. The company hoped both these moves would drive up click rates.
Brands and agencies have said they will increase search spend as a result of the latest decision.
Tom Jefferies, digital marketing manager at Bacardi Global Brands, said, "To be allowed to run AdWords advertising on Google.com is a big opportunity for us, so we will be looking to put money behind it."
Charlie McGee, MD of Carat Digital, which buys media for Diageo brands including Gordon's Gin, said: "[Using search] we can amplify all of the on and offline work that's done to promote these brands."
A Google spokesman said: "We're constantly evaluating our ad policies to ensure they are up-to-date and as consistent as possible with local business practises."