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Higher Education Marketing

Keyword Advertising Lives on in BC

Date posted: March 21, 2011

The Supreme Court in British Columbia has refused to grant an injunction sought by the province’s Private-Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA) to stop Vancouver Career College, CDI College, and Vancouver College of Art and Design  from using Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. All 3 schools are owned by Eminata Group, the largest private provider of post-secondary education in Canada.

The injunction was trying to claim that PPC marketing was in some way trying to mislead prospective students, since it ensured that links to the 3 institutions’ websites appeared at the top of search engine results page whenever competitor schools were searched.

Thankfully, the Court didn’t see things this way, saying, “In assessing the likelihood of confusion, the court ought to give the average consumer a certain amount of credit. Consumers are not generally completely devoid of intelligence or of normal powers of recollection, nor are they totally unaware or uninformed as to what goes on around them.” They ultimately compared PPC marketing to a business paying to have its name placed alongside a competitors in the Yellow Pages. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

This was the first time Pay Per Click marketing has been involved in a Canadian court case. Let’s hope it’s the last time!