PCTIA loses legal battle to stop keyword advertising by BC private colleges

March 15, 2011

The Supreme Court of BC has refused to grant an injunction sought by the province's Private-Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA), which launched a legal battle to stop Vancouver Career College, CDI College, and Vancouver College of Art and Design -- all of which are owned by Eminata Group -- from paying search engines for the right to use competitors' names as keywords and meta tags. The practice, called per-per-click advertising, made sure links to the 3 institutions' websites would appear near the top of the list whenever an individual searched for the names of the competitor schools. The Court ruled that PCTIA had not proven the practice was misleading. The parties in the case say this was the first time pay-per-click advertising had been considered in a Canadian court. Vancouver Sun