Sharper Image Bankruptcy Google Search: Sensational service and totally unique merchandise

The day I heard about the Sharper Image Bankruptcy, I searched Google for the term: sharper image bankruptcy. There was a Google Adsense ad for Sharper Image. At the time, I thought I should take a screen capture, but I didn’t. The next day, I came back and the ad was gone. Perhaps Sharper Image ran out of budget for the day, because the ad is back!

Based upon the blogs that I’ve been reading about not fulfilling on gift certificates and the obvious stiffing companies for millions of dollars, it is rather humorous that Sharper Image has an advertisement on Google when you type in sharper image bankruptcy. What makes it even funnier is that the ad claims: “Sensational service and totally unique merchandise”. I’ll have to tell that to my brother who got stiffed for his Sharper Image gift certificate this weekend while receiving “sensational service”.

Sharper Image BankruptcySee the screen shot yourself. There’s no way I was going to let this one pass me by a second time!

The good news is that Sharper Image has resumed redemption of their gift cards. The bad news is that you need to read the details:

All Gift Cards, etc., will be honored for their full value with two conditions – (1) they must be redeemed in full in one transaction; and (2) customers must purchase an item that costs double the value of the gift certificate or merchandise certificate. For example, if a customer holds a $25 Gift Certificate, the customer will get the full value of the $25 Gift Certificate as long as the customer purchases at least $50 worth of goods. Partial redemptions will not be honored at this time. This is a purely voluntary program. Customers who do not wish to redeem their cards on this basis can retain them for future use, as Sharper Image is working diligently to be able to honor the cards without condition in the future.

On the other side of karma, Sharper Image has been delisted by NASDAQ, essentially placing the proverbial nail in the coffin. Without a print catalog (they didn’t pay their printer $6MM) and half the number of stores, Sharper Image really has nothing to stand on moving forward.

Brand Genius, Al Reis, sums up much of the failure of Sharper Image in his recent article on Ad Age. Goodbye Sharper Image, hello RichardSolo.com.

One final word of advice to future marketers: If your company files for bankruptcy, remove your ads from Google and the other search engines for search terms that would include the keyword bankruptcy.

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