When earlier this year The Kelsey Group released the results of a survey on the interest of big-budget marketers in search engine marketing, the main focus was on the growth opportunity: 24% of big-budget marketers indicated that they would be interested in search engine marketing in 2004, twice as many as in 2003.

Now a new survey, conducted by NameProtect, a digital brand protection company, looks at the owners of big brands and how they use (or not) search engine marketing. The results are quite telling of the state of big brand search engine marketing, and should be troubling enough for any big company with a legal department to start working on protecting its intellectual properties and brand values:

Only 7% of the paid listings on Google and Yahoo!, containing one of the 100 Top Brand names, as ranked by Interbrand and BusinessWeek, were posted by the respective brand owner!

Big brands are often advertised on search engines by third parties
Chart and data, 2004 Copyright NameProtect, Inc.

Here are some additional points of interest:

  • Of the 93% of paid listings which were not posted by the brand owners, 98% had the brand name in the text of the third-party ad
  • 45% of the paid placements were for directly competitive and potentially unlicensed offerings