BOBS Gives Bobs Everywhere A Bad Name

AdPulp is late to this particular party, so please excuse us, but what the hell is BOBS from Sketchers?

Did Sketchers just buy TOMS? Either that, or this one of the most blatant brand rip offs ever.

According to TOMS blog, “TOMS is in NO WAY associated with Skechers, and will never be.” So that supports the blatant rip off angle.

When BOBS first appeared last year, Simon Mainwaring argued in Fast Company:

There is no problem with Skechers or any company copying the TOMS concept. In fact, Blake Mycoskie has stated that he hoped others would copy his business model. But by mirroring the TOM’s concept so blatantly, Skechers not only showed a lack of creativity and originality, but they left themselves wide open to accusations of disingenuous social concern.

Sketchers is pretty clearly saying, “Hi, we’re a ruthless corporate tool, not a brand that cares.” But does anyone really care?

Here’s a snapshot of the debate as it exists on BOBS’ Facebook page:

Through this Facebook lens, we can see that some people do care about the infringement on all that TOMS is, while others value BOBS’ lower price (and the power of the Sketchers brand), no matter how the company might have arrived at it.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.