Google Goofs Up “Bourne,” Threadless Contests?

    July 18, 2007

Google’s “Bourne Ultimatum” and Threadless t-shirt contests both looked like fun – and potentially rewarding – activities, but they’ve (so far) failed to impress.  The Bourne site is suffering from a number of technical problems; the Threadless competition appears to have outlawed a perfectly natural course of action.

Google tried, and by many accounts, it failed.  Following a WebProNews article announcing the Bourne contest, error-related comments are already accumulating.  Rachel Clarke wrote just yesterday that the game is “almost impossible to play,” and similar problems have cropped up elsewhere.

Then there’s the advertising issue.  “You thought you would never see it, an image or interactive ad on a Google search results page,” writes Barry Schwartz.  “But it is here, finally. . . .  A search for jason bourne has an ad at the top of the page, with an image, that contains a ‘Watch the movie trailer’ link.”

Now, for that Threadless competition.  When designing a Gmail t-shirt, one might be inclined to use a Google or Gmail logo, right?  The official rules declare, “Your design is not required to have the theme text or brand logo on it… in fact, we prefer it does not,” but it doesn’t prohibit these options.

Nonetheless, entries are being rejected on those grounds.  Nicholas Roussos wrote in to Google Blogoscoped,  and says he got a message stating, “The reason your design was declined is: The design contains copyrighted material.”

Still, whoever manages to make their way past these problems and win the Bourne and Threadless contests stands to win a Touareg 2 and $2,000, respectively.  It’s hard to get too annoyed with Google when prizes like that are at stake.