IKEA, a recliner manufacturer, has landed into trouble after running an adwords campaign on a trademark keyword of a major competitor. The competitor, Nowegian Firm Ekornes, has alleged that IKEA are snatching its costumers by using the keyword 'Stressless' which is one of the most popular brand of recliners in the world. However, they found out that IKEA are taking away their customers, whenever they search for “Stressless”, the customers are taken to an ad by IKEA for their own recliners.
According to Runar Hagen of Ekornes, “I think we have to be prepared to use more resources on surveillance. Trademark holders should establish routines to identify infringements and take action when they occur.”
When IKEA came to known about this infringement, they sent a letter to Ekornes thanking for bringing the matter to their attention. According to Christen Røhnbæk, communications adviser for IKEA Norway, “the Google Ads campaign is in its early stages and that the plan was to target general search terms”.
While on the other hand, Google has taken the issue very seriously. Jan Grønnbech of Google Norway, says, “Google doesn’t recommend campaigns targeting the trademarks of competitors.”