Searching for a new phone online: what do you do and what are the risks?

Contextual advertising allows advertisers to target ‘keywords’ which internet users search for and then displays ‘sponsored results’ atop the natural search results.

In this click-button age, the first thing you would do if you lost your phone is go online, open a search engine and type the name of the most common brand of phone you know. But then what happens? The first option that pops up on the search engine is not the most common brand but the second most common brand of phones. You are slightly confused and wonder whether this is now the ‘best available option’. So you click on the link and purchase the second most common brand of phone, which you now believe is the most common brand.

You have just become a victim of a ‘contextual advertisement’.

Authored by Nishchal Anand and Lakshmi Kruttika Vijay.

This chapter was published in WIPR’s Trademarks and the Internet 2011.

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