Beat It

If you have kids, then you will know that we are now entering the “silly season”. Halloween and Bonfire night displays have now disappeared from shops, replaced by fake snow, mince pies and Wham’s Last Christmas CDs. There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by when something else expensive is added to the cherubs Christmas lists after seeing an advertisement on TV or a magazine. Welcome to the consumer generation, where looks are more important than substance.

There’s nothing really new about children needing the latest branded goods. Whilst Primark may be good enough for them while they are at home, put children in any social situation and then it has to be Abercrombie this, Jack Wills that. Mobile phones now have to be iPhone or Android – even the gadget of choice for the City Boys, the Blackberry is passé these days. And of course you can’t just have a set of any old headphones to listen to the latest Labrinth tune – it has to be Beats by Dr. Dre. Why would you even consider buying a ten year old a set of £200 headphones? Well, apparently you don’t need to.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about the look. Beats have very quickly become the most iconic headphones on the market. Their distinctive shape, color and branding oozes street credibility, whilst the quality of sound is towards the top end of the scale. So when my eldest daughter casually mentioned she wanted a pair for Christmas, I initially scoffed at the idea as this was to be added to the list behind a iPad Mini, Mulberry bag, Hollister coat and a Pandora bracelet. She couldn’t see the problem – after all, “they only cost £20″ she says.

I looked at her confused as I knew the originals costs much more. So I asked her where she had seen them at that cost. “I just did a search for fake Beats by Dr. Dre”. Sure enough a Google search using those terms revealed a website full of counterfeit Beats as the second listing on natural search; ironically just one place below a link on “how to spot fake Beats by Dr. Dre” from the manufacturer’s own website. The fakes website had all the models, starting from $16.50 for a product that officially retails at £80 in the UK. There couldn’t be a more blatant brand infringement even if you tried.

Read more over at the NetNames blog  here.

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