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Cosmetics Brand Scores Victory over Amazon’s Use of Google Ads

Lush Cosmetics has long objected to Amazon.com purchasing the keyword “lush” on Google AdWords and using it to bring searchers to Amazon’s equivalent results. The issue became a trademark dispute that ended up in court in the UK, with Lush winning their case.

According to TheLawyer.com, Lush has been boycotting Amazon in protest of many of the online retail giant’s business practices. That however didn’t stop Amazon from buying advertising including the Lush keyword on Google, nor from having Amazon’s site search redirect Lush searchers to other cosmetic products.

The essential argument appears to have come down to whether or not a searching consumer could have been misled by being redirected to something that wasn’t actually a Lush-branded product.

“The consumer is likely to think that Amazon is a reliable supplier of a very wide range of goods and he would not expect Amazon to be advertising Lush soap for purchase if it were not in fact available for purchase,” John Baldwin, a deputy judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court, was quoted in the case.

The ill feelings on Lush’s side toward Amazon can be traced back to the beginnings of its legal dispute with the company. Retail Week noted how Lush, in 2012, registered the name “Christopher North” as a phrase connected with toilet products it intends to develop and sell to benefit certain causes. “Christopher North” also happens to be the name of Amazon UK’s managing director.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.