Google has a double-standard when it comes to them and everybody else that advertises using Adwords. Any ad position Google wants to advertise in to promote their products and services, they can have. Some might say "It's their advertising platform, they can do what they want." Others might say "It's not right."
So what's the big deal?
The big deal is that when Google advertises their products such as YouTube, DoubleClick, Google Offers, etc. it pushes other advertisers down a position. This causes you to raise your bid to compete.
OK, so Google is just like any other competitor then
No. Google can take any position they want. The only cost to them is the opportunity cost of putting someone else's ad in their place. Think about it. Google can make more money selling their DoubleClick Search Engine Marketing Software than they can make from advertiser clicks. This not only siphons business away from the other advertisers but it creates artificial competition which impacts your ability to compete as an advertiser.
How Google Breaks their Own Rules and Advertising Policy
Google has a Display URL policy that states:
The display URL in your ad must match the domain users will land on when they click on your ad. For example, if the website you're advertising is using the domain "example.com," your ad's display URL must also contain "example.com."
Redirects used for tracking purposes are fine as long as the final landing page has the same domain as the display URL.
Also be sure to brush up on Google's Affiliate Policy:
We'll only display one ad per search query for advertisers sharing the same top-level domain in the display URL. So if you're an affiliate advertiser, your ad may not show for a query because another affiliate or the website that runs the affiliate program also has ads using the same (or a similar) domain in the display URL.
Also, your site shouldn't mirror (be similar or nearly identical to) your parent company's or another advertiser's site. Google won't show multiple ads for identical or similar landing pages at the same time; if another advertiser's ad leads to a landing page that's similar to yours, and his keyword has a higher Ad Rank, his ad will show instead of yours.
In other words, you can't have a display URL say www.doubleclick.com and send them to http://www.google.com/doubleclick/advertisers/search.html - Oh wait, yes you can... if you're Google.
I did a search for software to manage multiple paid search accounts today and guess what showed up. Have a look for yourself.
I made a video (below) showing that Google is in violation of their own advertising rules. It's not a very exciting video but it does show that the domain www.doubleclick.com is sending traffic to the domain www.google.com which is against their advertising policy since the display URL must contain the root domain of the destination URL that visitors land on.
Furthermore, Google is really just blatantly taking advantage of their own system. By having two ads with different display URLs, they are able to take up two advertising spots making it more crowded for other advertisers. What they obviously did was manually approve the disapproved Doubleclick.com ads despite the fact the display URL doesn't match the destination URL.
Apparently DoubleClick also comes with a Google Double-standard.