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  • #1000551
    CGILLOTT
    Member
    • Total posts: 14

    Hi all,

    Looking for a bit of guidance. We’re an established online retailer (small family business) approaching 6 years in business. We were early adopters of a particular niche product in a narrow accessories market. Over the last 5 years we’ve witnessed many competitors enter the market, which is to be accepted and fine. We’ve continued to focus on our own business, pre-empting customer needs and offering new products so we can continue to grow and stay relevant.

    Over the last 6 or so months, one of our main competitors has started doing the following:

    – paying for Google advertising using our keywords (fine) but their ad copy is our brand name (not theirs) so that they try and trick customers into visiting their store when think they are clicking on our store
    – submitting on a daily basis 1 star reviews on our website for a different product of ours each night and referencing their own business name as a better option
    – posting on popular bargain forums and websites that our products are inferior and theirs are far better quality (even though we use the same supplier)
    -sending us numerous emails masked as a customer, taunting us.

    Presumably this person is doing this to try and influence customers to steer away from us and buy from them instead, in turn increasing their market share.

    I know their IP address, I know their approximate location, and I know their name from a Facebook group we are both members of relevant to our target market. Their approximate ip location is the same location as their business. It is beyond me as to why they are going to so much effort to try and sabotage our brand and business and O am now seeking advice from this forum to see if anyone has experienced something similar or if anyone can provide some solutions that are no or low cost?

    I would have thought posting fake reviews is against the competitions act?

    Cheers!

    #1224752
    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,560

    Hi [USER=75758]@CGILLOTT[/USER],

    I believe you can report them to Google if using your name in their ads.
    Also report any fake reviews on Google/FB/etc.

    Here’s a post by Neil Patel. I haven’t read it all, but his posts are usually extensive with a lot of good info.

    https://neilpatel.com/blog/brand-reputation-management/

    Go get em :)
    Dave

    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    #1224753
    Corey
    Member
    • Total posts: 568

    Focus on you & your business, continue your path & growth.

    Cheers
    Corey

    #1224754
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    CGILLOTT, post: 271863, member: 75758 wrote:
    I would have thought posting fake reviews is against the competitions act?

    Cheers!

    The answer to this is yes, fake reviews are against ACCC guidelines. Be it for yourself or a competing business.

    #1224755
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344

    If you have registered a trade mark for your business/brand name you may be able to file a report if others use your trade mark in ad copy on Google (not simply as key words though). Depending on the circumstances and the name/ad in question etc, using another person’s business name could amount to conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive consumers, which could then be a breach of the Australian Consumer Laws.

    #1224756
    businesstrade
    Participant
    • Total posts: 210
    CGILLOTT, post: 271863, member: 75758 wrote:
    – paying for Google advertising using our keywords (fine) but their ad copy is our brand name (not theirs) so that they try and trick customers into visiting their store when think they are clicking on our store
    – submitting on a daily basis 1 star reviews on our website for a different product of ours each night and referencing their own business name as a better option
    – posting on popular bargain forums and websites that our products are inferior and theirs are far better quality (even though we use the same supplier)
    -sending us numerous emails masked as a customer, taunting us.

    1. It is not unusual for businesses to pay for Google Ads targeting a competitors brand if they offer a very similar service/product.
    2. This sounds illegal, not sure what you can do about it other than report it to Google. There was a case where a health care professional successfully sued but legal action is a costly endeavour.
    3. Are you referring to Ozbargain? If so, how do you know it is your competitor and not a troll?
    4. How do you know it’s your competitor?

    #1224757
    MattH753
    Member
    • Total posts: 15

    If you have an agency managing your Google Ads etc I’d ask them for advice. I’m sure this type of activity is common for them

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