Price Chopper Suing ShopRite Over Keywords
Golub Corp., owner of the Price Chopper supermarket chain, is suing Wakefern for copyright infringement for paying Google, Bing and Yahoo! for keywords that put ShopRite on the top of search results for terms including Price Chopper.
While the practice Golub is suing over is common in today’s market, the company maintains that Wakefern took it to a new level. Company representatives told the (Albany) Times Union that Wakefern paid to be on top of searches that included "Price Chopper flyer." Golub maintains that people who clicked on that link thought they were going to the Price Chopper site, but instead went to ShopRite’s.
"We think it’s highly deceptive," Price Chopper spokesperson Mona Golub told the Times Union. "It’s using Price Chopper’s established name to redirect a consumer to another site that happens to be a competitor to Price Chopper."
Wakefern, which said it had only become aware of the issue last week from a media outlet in the Albany area, said it has pulled the search ads. Golub intends to continue with the suit.
According to The Business Review, ShopRite opened its first new store in about 20 years in New York’s capital region last month. Plans call for three more ShopRites to open in the area.
Rhea Drysdale, co-founder of Outspoken Media, an internet marketing firm, said Golub had an option beyond filing a suit. It could have taken the case to Google.
"In my mind, the responsibility is on Google to monitor that." Ms. Drysdale said.
- Legal cleanup in online aisle – Albany Times Union
- Price Chopper sues ShopRite over alleged trademark infringement – The Business Review
Discussion Questions: Do you see keyword competition heating up as search becomes more important to the digital marketing efforts of retailers and brands? Aside from the legal questions, what do you make of the case of Golub v. Wakefern from a competitive marketing standpoint?