Indian dairy giant Amul has sent a legal notice to Google over what the company says were fake B2B campaigns run by “miscreants.” The ads targeted individuals through fake websites promising Amul franchises through Google Search ads.
The Gujarat-based dairy company claimed it had raised the issue with Google India but no action was taken, instead Amul alleges that Google and web hosting service GoDaddy.com, benefited from the revenue generated through advertisements (subscription in the case of GoDaddy) on their platform.
The notices were sent to Google India and GoDaddy.com on January 10.
According to Amul, upon opening these fake websites, individuals were required to fill up forms, following which they received calls from unknown numbers to pay registration fees ranging from INR 25K ($351) to INR 5 lakhs ($7,020) via NEFT in various bank accounts. Following this all contact would cease.
Amul said it had even submitted all legal documents pertaining to their copyright over the brand Amul and various brand names of it products to Google.
“This was done under the guidance of Google India team, to prevent any miscreant from using ‘Amul’ keyword-based ads on the Google Search engine. Amul ran promoted ads on Google Search to educate customers against such fake campaign and had a dedicated page talking about it http://amul.com/m/amul-parlours-fake-websites,” Amul said.
The fake campaign was running since September 2018, Amul said and as no concrete action was taken, it has issued these legal notices. The company had also earlier raised a complaint with the Cyber Cell of Gujarat Police in Ahmedabad regarding the the website domain portals from where these fake website domains were being purchased.
“For the last 4 months, the sales team of Amul have been meeting innocent individuals who have been duped of various hefty amounts and guiding them to file FIRs and take other legal steps,” Amul said.
The dairy producer also noted that Google Ads platform is allowing such miscreants to use its paid promotion services repeatedly without any background checks and in the process earns revenue from the click-based advertising on their page.