Do you remember that movie Face/Off from the late ’90s?
It’s the one where Nicholas Cage plays a terrorist, and John Travolta plays an FBI agent.
To foil a dastardly plot, the FBI agent has the bright idea to do a “face transplant” so he “wears” the face of the terrorist. Of course, the terrorist returns the favor, and chaos ensues until the FBI agent saves the world…
Anyway, I couldn’t help but think of Face/Off the other day, when I was talking to a lawyer. He had complained that he had come up with a good Google ad campaign, but his archrival local competitor then copied his campaign.
In other words, the lawyer’s nemesis was “face transplanting” his ad and website onto the nemesis’ own ad and website! And the lawyer wanted to know if he could prevent that.
I told him that Google won’t stop a competitor from copying your Google ad, unless your ad contains your trademark.
But there *are* two things you can do to mitigate this.
First, you can make your old ad irrelevant. To do that, start testing at least two ads against each other, and continually switch to the ad that proves to generate more leads. It’s rare that you’ll have one ad that “wins” for an extended period of time. So even if your competitor steals your old ad, you’ll quickly move on to a new and better ad.
And second, you can also make your old website irrelevant. Just like with a Google ad, you should always be testing at least two pages against each other, and switching to the winner. So, even if your competitor copies the gist of your page, it will soon be outdated.
As always, the antidote to your competitor’s laziness and ignorance is hard work!
If you want somebody else to do this hard work for you, schedule some time with me here:
P.S. If your competitor rips you off word-for-word, rather than filing a copyright case against them, you can send your competitor a nice email asking them not to plagiarize your page. This works surprisingly often. And if it doesn’t, rather than pursue a copyright case, look at your state bar association ethics and see if plagiarizing an ad or website qualifies as an ethics violation. Pointing that out often ensures a quick takedown.