Anyone who spends a reasonable amount of time checking out fashion sites on-line will have seen the plethora of banner ads pushing heavily discounted Christian Louboutin shoes. I’ve been a fashion editor for long enough to know that these sites are selling fakes, as Christian Louboutin control the distribution of their product extremely carefully and don’t sell to no-name third party sites.
I get a significant amount of email from readers asking if these ads are genuine and my response is always the same: Christian Louboutin don’t have an e-commerce site, so any site using a domain name that includes the words Christian Louboutin that isn’t the official www.christianlouboutin.com is presumably selling badly-made, mass production fakes.
Last month I was extremely surprised to see an ad for what were presumably fake Louboutins being served on Cathy Horyn’s On the Runway blog page on The New York Times website and only today, whilst catching up on fashionweekdaily’s excellent Daily Front Row blog, I saw yet another Google ad banner pushing purported deep discount Louboutins. When I clicked through the shoes were being sold through a third party in Cyprus and manufactured in Guangzhou, China. *
The Christian Loubouton press office in London emailed me today to say,
“We make no shoes in Asia. There is no factory in China that can sell legitimate shoes to anyone as we do not use any factories in China.”
Although the company has put in place a comprehensive program to deal with the sites and sources offering fake product, by monitoring eBay and social networks, using Copyright law and by working closely with Customs, Web Hosting Service Providers, Google and other search engines to identify the sellers of fake Louboutin shoes, it is clear, from my experience above, that companies like Google are not doing enough to stop serving the ads that drive traffic to the counterfeit sites.
It is unforgivable that Google Ads would serve these ads to legitimate, respected fashion news sites, which leads to the implication that those sites are giving tacit approval to the counterfeit sites, which is not, and never would be the case.
Google: step up.
These counterfeit sites threaten Christian Louboutin’s business and the business of their distributors. As the press office told me, “We are losing sales and we are suffering a great harm in terms of brand image as poor quality fake products are bearing our logo.”
Louboutin have launched a complementary website www.stopfakechristianlouboutin.com which has a frequently updated list of websites that they have identified as selling fakes and lets us know what action is being taken against the counterfeiters.
* Added at 1620hrs. Just went to Slate.com to read an article, and they are also currently serving presumably fake Christian Louboutin ads, via Google.
If you love fashion, don’t buy counterfeit goods, whether Louboutin, Rolex, Vuitton or any of the other prevalent knock-offs. There is nothing clever about buying fake goods, the profits of which go to fund organised crime, drug trafficking, prositution, child labour and sweatshops.