08.08.11

Made In China: Chasing more Gibson counterfeits in Google Adsense

Posted in Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 10:07 am by George Smith

Yesterday I wrote about Chinese ads selling counterfeit American electric guitars to YouTube. From the the frontpage of the Washington Post website the previous week, to a smaller picture ad spun out by Google Adsense/AdWwords and tied to guitar star demonstration videos.

In yesterday’s case it was sales pitching for fake Paul Reed Smiths.

Google AdSense is the vehicle of choice for Internet bottom feeders. Using Google “products” it’s probably fair to say you could set up AdSense ads for working hand grenades, hit squad services or sales of stolen goods, advertised with just the same words and get away with it for a few days. (In fairness, I haven’t tried. But judging by the reprehensible rubbish I routinely see peddled, it’s not a bridge too far.)

Today, the AdSense ads for fakes of domestic guitars were spied at the Los Angeles Times, sans immediate giveaway pictures.

Here’s the ad from this morning:

Clicking through to the site one gets a standard assortment of rock-bottom priced fakes of domestic Gibson gear.

Again, here are two fresh examples, one labeled with a clear “Made In USA” marking on the headstock:

Larger version.

Larger version.

The technology of ad streaming makes it easy for these types of things to be everywhere. And it underlines the magnitude and the gravity of the problem faced by US guitar manufacturers.

Chasing this stuff around is whack-a-mole work and the resources simply don’t exist to combat it.

Futher, there’s no obvious control or correction mechanism in domestic net advertising to fight it.

My experience has shown US companies running this type of thing really don’t like hearing the news. They’d rather have the advertising dollars — even when the amount may be trivial — and for others to just shut up and not bother them over it.


From the archive: The DD net advertising and counterfeit brand guitar adventure.

Keywords: TradeTang, Gibson, AdSense


On YouTube, ads spun by Google, yesterday, for PRS fakes:

Larger version.

Comments are closed.