In April 2020, following a survey carried out by the Data Protection Commission (DPC), a report was published into the usage of cookies and tracking technologies on Irish websites and mobile apps.
Do you need to do anything, YES YOU DO
You have 3 options when installing automatic cookie policies on your website that comply with the new laws:
Please find below GDPR cookie compliance checklist to help you and please also refer to the Guidance document on Cookies.
GDPR Cookie Compliance Checklist
Ensure to have a cookie banner on your website
Ensure the cookie banner gives the browser the options to accept and reject cookies or select preferences. If the browser is only given the option to accept, this type of consent is not GDPR compliant.
Ensure you have a data privacy notice displayed on your website and it is easy to find and understand.
Ensure the list of cookies is grouped into necessary and non-necessary cookies that are operating on your website.
Obtain user consent before non-necessary cookies are set on the browser’s computer device. Do not use pre-ticked boxes. Communication and necessary cookies do not require consent. The list created from No. 7 above will assist you here.
Make it possible for website users to change their cookie settings easily and provide comprehensive information about the cookies operating on your website.
Only use the cookies for the purposes that have been outlined in your cookie banner/consent. Do not use them for any other purpose. It is all about transparency.
If your website requires user consent for cookies, ensure that there is a record of cookie consents. The Data Protection Commission will ask for proof of consents if your website is audited.
Ensure your website is compliant on or before the 5 of October 2020. From the 6 of October 2020 the Data Protection Commission will commence the auditing of websites.
You have just done a search on google for your name, and look there is a competitor paying for top position for your name. A.K.A: They are being parasites (or maybe they don’t know this is happening). Following are some tips to let you know your rights.
A competitor bidding on your company’s name as a search term is frustrating, but it is entirely acceptable by Google.
What can you do if your competitor’s Google ad appears whenever a customer does a Google search for your company’s name?
It depends on the situation. Are they paying for bids using your name as a search term for their ad, or are they paying for your name AND using your business name in their ad? These are two very different things and clarifying which they’re doing will show you what you can do to rectify the situation.
If your competitor is not actually using your name in an ad, but is only bidding on a search term using your name, Google will do nothing. Google’s position is stated on the AdWords website. It reads, “Google will not investigate or restrict the use of trademark terms in keywords, even if a trademark complaint is received.” However, if your company’s name is trademarked, and your competitor is using it in their actual advertising, there are things you can do to rectify the situation.
What can you do if they are using your name in their ad?
The first thing you can do is to complete a complaint form with Google, at this link:
Google are very responsive and will deal with your issue very quickly.
Before you do that, however, make sure you have a valid case to file a complaint. You’ll want to read through the rest of this article, and then take a look at Google’s trademark policies at this link:
Competitors are allowed to bid on your company’s name and/or brand, but they shouldn’t be using it in their ad copy, pretending to be you. The only time they can use it is when they are a reseller of your services or goods. This is called “pawning off” (to get rid of or pass off, usually by deception) and is a parasitic thing to do. In this case, you can submit a complaint to Google (they will sort it out very quickly) or you can take legal action (not so quick, but pawning off is a serious issue, so you may want to take more decisive action).
In some cases, your competitor may not aware they are doing it. This can happen if they have “broad match” switched on in their ad campaign. For example, if your company’s name ends with a generic word, like solicitor or gardener, it simply means they are paying for anything with the word solicitor or gardener in it (like Graphedia Solicitors). They are probably just paying for everything containing the word, solicitor. They are probably not aware they are doing it, unless they check all searched words in their adwords account. Most companies don’t know all the ins and outs of AdWords. In this case, a courtesy email asking them to add your name as a negative keyphrase would stop this from happening.
On the other hand, if they are paying for your business name, and your name is quite unique, like Graphedia, for example, then, you are most likely dealing with a parasite. Your competitor is looking to take business from you. This happens to many and, yes, it has happened to us. It doesn’t just happen to big businesses either. It happens to small business owners, as well. In an odd way, it’s kind of a compliment. It means your competitor sees you as a threat. Should you be honoured? Not really. It took hard word to get where you are!
When you are dealing with a parasite, there are four things you can do to halt their actions.
Send a letter or make a phone call
Pay for your own name on Google
Pay for their name
Start a war
Now, wait just a minute. There is no need to jump to number four just yet. We want to avoid starting a war right away, no need to go Al Capone on them! (Enjoy video below please note they use bad language :)) but keep reading below
1. Send a letter or make a phone call This should be your first option. Either telephone them or send a letter asking if they are aware of what they are doing. This is always the best approach, but it isn’t always done. Why would you do this? They obviously know what they are doing. It’s called professional courtesy and is a good place to start.
2. Pay for your own name on Google Unfortunately, to stop it instantly you should start bidding on your own name, because it is your name, after all, and your website references your name. You will have a higher quality score and, in turn, not have to pay as much as your competitor for the word. We have done it ourselves, and have put some entertaining ads there.
3. Pay for their name You can approach this tit-for-tat, but, to be honest. I really see it only causing a higher bounce rate in your analytics. If someone is looking for you they will normally jump out of a site that doesn’t have your branding on it. On the other hand, however, some marketers might recommend you should be doing this. To be honest, the logic behind this trend seems sound. After all, if someone is typing in a competitor’s business name, they are interested in what your competitor has to offer, right? That means they are probably interested in what you have to offer, as well. While we’re not necessarily advising you to sink to the pathetic depths your competitor did when purchasing your name, we’re also not telling you NOT to. That’s more an ethical issue than a marketing issue. And by “ethical,” we mean, if you don’t use their name as a search term, you can claim to be taking the moral high ground to anyone who asks–or those who don’t ask, but you just happen to tell!
4. Start a war
One serious downside to bidding on a competitor’s brand name is that you are basically starting a war. They and/or you are openly inviting your competition to bid on their and/or your brand name to start poaching some of your potential sales. While bidding on their brand name will make it more expensive for them to bid on their own name, the same thing applies the other way around. Their bidding on your brand name makes it more expensive for you to convert on your own brand. We know of one funny story where two advertisig agencies were going at it with each other for a while. It even got to the stage where one of the companies created an adult orientated site based around the other company name, so when you searched for “so and so”, you got “ooh la la”. As funny as this sounds, it ended up messy and the two companies reverted to option one, making a phone call to each other.
If this has happened to you, hopefully this article helps. It’s a good idea to do a regular search of your business and domain names on Google every now and then. You might be surprised to see who is paying for your name.
Costs for advertising on google can be as little as 10 cent per click
Irish Companies now have to add their Company Registration Details on website & Email footer
Is your Irish Web Site Legal ~ updated Spetember 2021
Companies Incorporated under the Companies Act 2014
Every company is required to paint or affix, and keep painted or affixed, its name on the outside of every office or place in which its business is carried on, in a conspicuous position, in letters which are easy to read. The company name in legible characters must be shown in all notices and other official publications of the company and in all bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the company and in all invoices, receipts and letters of credit of the company.
The following particulars must be shown on all business letters of a company;
the full name of the company (note that the only permissable abbreviations are “Ltd” for “Limited” , “Teo” for “Teoranta”, “Plc” for “Public Limited Company” etc.)
the forename (or initials) and surnames and any former forenames and surnames of the directors and their nationality, if not Irish.
Every limited liability company which has a website is also required to display either on its homepage or to be identified on its homepage, a readily accessible webpage on which the following appear:
the name and legal form of the company
the place of registration of the company and the number with which it is registered
the address of the registered office of the company
in the case of a company exempt from the obligation to use the company type (Companies Limited by Guarantee/Designated Activity Companies) as part of its name, the fact that it is such a company.
in the case of a company which is being wound up, the fact that it is being wound up
if the share capital of a company is mentioned on the website, the reference must be to the paid-up share capital
For further information, please see Information Leaflet 7, regarding exceptions, Foreign Companies and Business Names.
Letters & Emails
The following additional particulars must be shown on letters and are also required to appear on order forms of limited liability companies, whether they are in paper form or any other medium (such as email or faxes);
the legal form of the company
place of registration and registered number (as per certificate of incorporation), eg. registered in Dublin, Ireland
address of the registered office (where this is already shown on the document, the fact that it is the registered office must be indicated).
in the case of a company exempt from the obligation to use the use the company type (Companies Limited by Guarantee/Designated Activity Companies) as part of its name, the fact that it is such a company.
in the case of a company which is being wound up, the fact that it is so
if the share capital of a company is mentioned on letterheads or order forms of a company, the reference must be to the paid up share capital.
These particulars apply only to business letters and order forms and do not need to be included on delivery notes or invoices.
From April 1st 2007, if you are a limited company there are specific details which must be included on your website. These details are the same as the ones you must already legally display on your traditional correspondence such as letterheads and invoices. From April 2007, these legal requirements extend to Irish Websites and E-Mails. Non-compliance can be very costly with a range of fines.
You need to include:
The place of registration of the company, the number with which it is registered and the address of its registered office
In the case of a company exempt from the obligation to use the word “limited” or “teoranta” as part of its name, the fact that it is a limited company
In the case of a company which is being wound up, the fact that it is being wound up
If there is reference to the share capital of the company on any page of the website, the reference shall be to the paid-up share capital
These need to be included on the following pages:
On the `about us` page as a minimum or on the footer of each page if you prefer, we recommend the footer include at a bare minimum your physical address and contact details
In all your email correspondence, so if you don`t already use a footer or signature on your emails this is the time to start!
If you are not a limited company, please don`t forget that the Office of Data Protection requirement is that all websites require a privacy statement if they collect personal information such as an email address on a contact form, or cookies used for web statistics.
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