Apple Targets Searchers For 'Dell Streak', 'HP Slate' With Google Ads For The iPad

In a move that suggests a tad of insecurity on Apple’s behalf, the iPad maker is apparently buying Google AdWords ads targeting potential buyers of the Dell Streak, the Android-powered micro-tablet or netpad or whatever it is people cooler than me call the device.

The screenshot above was taken after I did a search for ‘Dell Streak’ on (thanks for the tip, Tom from Rudefox). As you can see, Cupertino is trying to capture the attention of Dell Streak searchers by buying text ads on Google, in an attempt to get them to click through to the iPad product page instead of moving on with said search.

Update: same deal for ‘HP Slate’

We can debate the quality of the text ad copy that’s supposed to lure people away – “A revolutionary Multi-Touch device with nearly 200,000 apps.” – as it, for reasons unknown, lacks the bulletproof marketing term ‘magical’.

But, rather, let’s debate whether companies buying ads against keywords that contain the names of their competitors or their products is an effective, elegant and/or ethical means of promoting one’s wares on the Web.

I’ll kick things off: I think it makes perfect sense, although Apple is about the last company I’d expect to see revert to these tactics.

Your take?