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Amazon Ordered to Stop Using “Typo Advertising” to Lure Birkenstock Consumers

Birkenstock is on grammar patrol. And it’s stopping at nothing in its fight against Amazon.

A court in Dusseldorf, Germany ordered Amazon to stop using typo adverting to target ads to online shoppers who enter misspellings of “Birkenstock” on Google. Birkenstock sought the injunction as it feared shoppers might be led to buy low-quality counterfeits through Amazon, which would erode its reputation, Reuters reported.

German magazine Der Spiegel broke the news on Friday, reporting that Amazon has placed several advertisements that were used in Google searches with terms such as “Brikenstock,” “Birkenstok” or “Bierkenstock.” The ads were linked to offers within Amazon’s Marketplace platform.

“For us, Amazon is complicit,” Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert told Der Spiegel.

A spokesperson for Amazon told Reuters, “Amazon prohibits the sale of fraudulent products. We work diligently with vendors, sellers and rights owners to detect and prevent fraudulent products reaching our marketplace.”

The court order touches on a much larger attempt by Birkenstock to block its products from being sold on Amazon. The company announced in November that it would cut ties with Amazon Europe after a series of violations on Amazon’s Marketplace platform, including counterfeit products. The sandal brand stopped supplying inventory to Amazon in the U.S. in January 2017.