Interflora to go toe-to-toe with M&S over Google ads
Interflora has kicked off an almighty row via a European legal challenge against Marks and Spencer over the store's (alleged) piggy-backing on Google searches for the flower vendor's website.
The BBC report that M&S paid Google to promote its own flower business in search results any time a user looks up Interflora's name. As such, a link to M&S would appear directly below Interflora's in the sponsored links section.
This isn't the first time someone has tried something like this. A similar case was thrown at Google from luxuries firm LVMH (famous for its Louis Vuitton wing) who claimed that Google was unfairly promoting third-party retailers in its sponsored search results. Google won that one.
However, the Interflora case is different. LVMH didn't lose any business via Google's actions, however, M&S is promoting its flower business in direct competition to Interflora. M&S has also paid Google for keywords which includes Interflora's name in the AdWords system.
M&S said that it is "industry wide practice, which we say is not unlawful". Interflora declined to comment, but are understood to be suing its competitor for buying those keywords.
Google, of course, are saying nothing about all this.