Club Med moves to stop Google bids on its brand name

Club Med moves to stop Google bids on its brand name

Agents are hopeful that a move by Club Med to stop retailers bidding on its brand name on Google could benefit their business.

The all-inclusive specialist, which operates 71 resort villages around the world, told key partners last week they would no longer be able to bid on its brand name from September 1.

Google AdWords allows companies to bid on specific search terms so that they appear in a box at the top of the natural search results. The highest bidders gain the prime positions on the page.

Only a small number of agents had been allowed to bid on the Club Med name after the operator outlawed the practice for most agents years ago.

Joy Lacana, agency sales manager at Club Med, said: “This is a global strategy. It’s going to be a good thing for everybody as it gives us the chance to be more creative with our marketing. We want to carry on our good relationship with agents.”

The company said measures were in place to monitor whether agents breached the rule.

Niall Douglas, managing director of Full Circle Travel in Wallingford, said he felt the decision would benefit his business and hoped other suppliers would follow.

“We do all the work and then the client does a Google search and gets a cheaper price. I’d rather have no one on there,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can be more imaginative than those who have just relied on Google. To me, that’s not being a travel agent. We offer a superior service, so hopefully this will give us an advantage.”

Nick Harding-McKay, of Travel Designers in Clapham, said: “We stopped bidding on Google earlier this year and we have seen a small drop in Club Med sales, but we’re working well with them to promote their products locally.”

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