Fashion emergency, you guys! We just heard that prom 2014 might be in jeopardy!
A special report on the Today show last spring pointed out that Americans are scammed into buying more than 500,000 counterfeit designer prom dresses online every year:
And now, the prom industry is so ticked off about this, they're not taking it sitting down.
According to a poll conducted by Mac Duggal, a high-end dress brand specializing in prom and formal gowns—they've dressed everyone from Bette Midler to Aretha Franklin—68 percent of prom dress retailers say they would band together in a—wait for it—Google blockade.
What does this mean? This means that legit designer prom retailers would block Google from indexing their websites in search results for a whole week—with the goal of pressuring Google into doing something about blocking scam sites that sell knockoffs.
"Counterfeiting designer dresses has existed since long before Google came on the scene, but the search engine has made the problem exponentially worse," designer Mac Duggal says.
How? Scammers can buy Google ads to push themselves to the top of search results—and they steal lots of photos from designers' own sites.
According to the proposed Google blockade website:
The one week blockade of Googlebot is largely a symbolic protest. Other than new pages and/or new content not being found by Google during the week of this protest, there is not likely to be a significant impact. The goal of the campaign is create aware awareness of the how Google's failure to filter out counterfeiters enables these websites to rip off prom-dress buyers. Optimally, the negative publicity from this campaign will create pressure on Google to filter apparel counterfeiters out of their index, much as the search giant demonstrated it is capable of doing with pharmaceuticals. Google should at least be able to reach parity with Bing in regard to blocking out counterfeiters.What do you think about this call to action by prom-dress retailers? Have you ever fallen victim to buying a counterfeit product online? Tell us about it in the comments below!