Man Cons Swiss Paper into Publishing Fake Gucci Ad…of Himself

Gucci_1Ever dream of seeing yourself in a fashion ad? In some places, you can now do it yourself.

A man in Switzerland created this fake Gucci ad, featuring himself, and phoned the Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung, booked the $50,000 ad for Sunday’s edition, and told staff at the paper to bill Gucci, which they did.

According to the AP, the ad was booked too late for staff at the publication to check if the ad was valid (and it’s not clear if they would have anyway, since the man told the weekly he was with Gucci) so the two-page spread went to press and Gucci was billed.

Christoph Zimmer, a rep. for the weekly, said “We’ve spoken to Gucci and apologized for the mistake. We’re going to try and get the money back from this guy, but we don’t rate our chances.”

The man’s name was not reported to the media, but he’s supposedly under investigation for other forms of fraud. At least they’ve got a good idea what he looks like.

Swiss Newspaper Falls for Prankster’s Fake Gucci Ad [ap]


  1. Bob says

    The dude is FUG! Who in their right mind would believe that this man is a model for Gucci!? While some kids with down syndrome get TV shows a la “Life Goes On”, they rarely get booked for modeling jobs by major fashion companies! This magazine (or newspaper) should eat the costs for being so stupid.

  2. Toto says

    Bob that comment is really mean … and funny.

    But yeah I think thats brilliant. Very narcissitic too.

  3. rudy says

    Bob, You are merely showing your lack of taste, your prejudices, and your stupidity. The man in the fake advert has quite handsome classical features (and I selected models for ads in a past career). I would not be surprised if he were offered modeling jobs after his stunt. But even were he not good looking, why are you denigrating people with Down Syndrome?

    Now crawl back under the bridge you morally repugnant troll.

  4. Bob says

    Cory, I have seen Gucci models, and most are quite gorgeous in a homogenous way… This guy does not fit the mold of an average Gucci Model.

    Toto, thanks! I am a career narcissist here in LA.

    Rudy, I can see why selecting models is a “past” career of yours! His receding hairline is laughable. His posture is atrocious, he has absolutely NO jaw line, and I can totally see his double chin! Don’t even get me started on his face pubes, which are pretty nasty all on their own. Nothing about this man is workth booking for a job, that’s probably why it’s not your job to do so anymore.

    He’s not an attractive man, and he’s certainly not Gucci material. Sorry if that offends people.

  5. Cory says

    Bob, I was joking, trying to keep in track with the light-hearted topic. God, why does every topic always have to become an argument?

  6. tekay says

    my question would be: “why is someone black always deemed unattractive in these comment pages?”

    just wondering.

  7. Becks07 says

    What BOB just revealed is the exact thought process he employs when he goes out to a bar and destroys as many men in his own head as he can before any of them catch on to the fact that he is devoid of his own self-worth and is, thus, not worth an O’Doul’s.

    The sad fact is that BOB is probably applying some narrow definition of beauty that is not even his own…it was probably cooked up by Wilhelmina or Eileen or DV or some other self-appointed arbiter.

    I thought the guy was kinda sexy but add in his audaciousness and sense of humor and I give him a virtual 10″ cock and hottest guy in the room status LOL I’d rather spend an evening with a guy this outrageously subversive than some perfect nip-and-tuck BOB fantasy.

    Fuck you, BOB! :-)

  8. forreal says

    “God, why does every topic always have to become an argument?

    Posted by: Cory | Feb 27, 2007 6:01:19 PM”

    Because towleroad is overrun with bitter bigoted queens.
    They can’t laugh, because they ARE the joke.

  9. jimmyboyo says

    I have to give th guy props for being so audaciously crazy

    The eyebrows…..PUT AWAY THAT TWEEZER!

    I want every gay guy in the world to put away their tweezers. Men should not have thin, womanly, perfectly manicured, and or overly tweezed eyebrows.

    Otherwise , I give this guy a ^5 for being so crazy and bold.

  10. Ryan says

    I think that everybody is missing the point that Bob was making. The guy obviously doesn’t fit the Gucci image. Whether he is good looking or not is pretty much irrelevant. The point is that all of the Gucci models have a very specific look, ESPECIALLY in Europe, and this guy definitely looks nothing like a Gucci model!

    It was kind of mean that he said this guy has down syndrome, but I thought that it was more of a joke than anything else. What’s up with all the hostility?

  11. Cory says

    That’s a good question, Ryan. While I have no opinion either way, there is a lot of anger on these blogs and a definitely mob mentality. I can understand someone disagreeing, but there is not reason to be nasty and personally attack others. :(

  12. soulbrotha says

    This man has damaged the Gucci brand. Lockem up throw away the key.

    Posted by: M | Feb 27, 2007 11:15:39 PM

    Oh please honey, I think Gucci will survive. Leave the drama on Broadway where it belongs.

  13. kiel says

    I completely agree with Bob that this guy is not Gucci material! I don’t know why this is angering so many guys. All of the Gucci models look exactly alike. It’s their thing, and this guy looks nothing like their normal ken doll. Is it really necessary that he gets judged as a vapid prick just for stating the obvious? The obvious being that there is no way in hell this guy could be a Gucci model.

  14. Jack! says

    Here is evidence of how gay people are treated as lesser people. Look at the reaction from readers of both these hateful comments.

    Speaker: Tim Hardaway, “I hate gay people”
    Reader reaction: Freedom of speech, he has the right to speak his mind.

    Speaker: Kenneth Eng, “Why I hate blacks”
    Reader reaction: Ignorant, unacceptable, hateful

  15. xavier says

    More Banksy than anything. Very daring, and if he can for once bring the attention of people towards their fascist sense of beauty, more power to him. I agree with the comment that his bold -and smart- move makes him more interesting than a dozen boring clones with perfect bodies and perfect faces with nothing to say.

  16. mark m says

    “why does every topic always have to become an argument?”

    I feel you Cory. But when someone takes the time to dissect a total stranger’s facial structure, compare him to the mentally challenged, then it comes as no surprise when they get personal with others who don’t agree.

    Bob, can you email me your picture? I want to see what perfection looks like.

    And before you respond with “I’m not the one trying to be a Gucci Model”… How do you know that was this guy’s intent? Maybe he was pointing out that Gucci needs to diversify it’s look, or poke fun at a looks-conscious culture.

    If his intent was to pull off a Banksy stunt, he succeeded.

    And he succeeded in exposing the more shallow of us here at Towleroad.

  17. Da says

    I don’t think he “exposes” me if I don’t think he’s cute (if I happen to)…It’s an opinion, and a valid one at that!

    As for the rest, everyone should be free to pick their ‘heroes’ as they wish..A con man who usurps people’s identities isn’t exactely someone I tend to embrace (even though this particular stunt can be funny for a minute) – but it’s really getting ahead of oneself to project some altruist intent to his deed.

    He may have just wanted the exposure for himself, you know!?

  18. Frozen North says

    Hm. I don’t get why anybody feels the need to comment on someone’s look…period.

    It’s an article about an act.

    Say the act the was funny.
    Say it was criminal.
    Say it was creative.

    While I agree with the comment that he doesn’t fit the mold of a typical Gucci model, I don’t understand why every article resorts to “oh, he’s hot” or “oh he’s not” commentary. WTF. Does everything come down to that?

    I think that people who post critical comments of how people look are really just looking for affirmation of their opinions and biases. (he’s ugly, ’cause of x,y,z. you agree with me…right? right?)

    Probably true with people commenting on good-looks too, but those are usually much less offensive.

  19. Damien says

    Bob, you have NO idea how idiotic and unevolved your words looked, and while true to a certain degree, NO, he does NOT look like the typical Gucci model…BUT he does NOT look like he has downs! And he deserves MAJOR points for originality and balls! Your words were SO typical of our community…so many immature, self-centered, insecure babies who find it much easier to tear others down in order to make themselves feel better. GROW the fuck up. Watch some friggin’ Oprah or something. Get a clue. Try being NICE for a change and see what that gets you. And by the way…..what do YOU look like? The TYPICAL GUCCI MODEL, I’m sure!

  20. lipservice says

    I don’t know how the men in Gucci ads usually look, especially not in Europe, but my Ammerican eyes say he’s definitely attractive. A bit furry for my taste, but still hot. And plenty brainy & gutsy to boot.

  21. mark m says


    Who here has embraced this guy as a gay icon?

    I’ve seen mostly comments that it was clever or that he’s not as unattractive as others feel he is.

    And as for opinions, if you’re going to express a positive opinion (I like how he looks), that isn’t as likely to be condemned as when you get negative (he looks like he has downs syndrome).

    Hey, the guy’s not my type at all, but I don’t feel the need to dissect his every feature because he’s posing in a fake Gucci ad. I’m as shallow as the next red blooded Gay Male, but I don’t advertise my bias… that’s a sign of immaturity.

  22. Da says

    I wasn’t implying he was taken as an icon, I just didn’t comprehend the reason behind the passion exhibited to defend a man whom by all accounts is unknown to us and has a past history of being a con artist.

    So why is he being defended like so? And why are some willing to punch into each other to defend his ‘integrity’?

    I’m trying to understand, and I just don’t get it..

  23. freeyasef says

    Okay “model”… What exactly is he supposed to be modeling?

    Plus all “high fashion” models have a “different” look. I think he is attractive.

  24. Craig says

    This man’s forehead is so large it’s a fivehead! What exactly makes him attractive? Why the hell are so many people defending him and calling him cute!? Maybe with a bag over his head he might have looked a lot better… I guess we will never know.

  25. Craig says

    haha! I just read that comment by “Bob”. That whole down syndrome comment was funny! hahaha! Good times.

  26. BITTER says

    Most Gucci models are anorexic with horsey faces and digustingly PALE skin……this guy is actually a nice change.

  27. Nick says

    Ok… for starters I’m not totally sure why everyone is so up in arms over what bob said. Yes it was a little tasteless but still it is just one mans opinion. I personally don’t think that this man guy is very attractive. He just isn’t my type.

    Tekay… I really don’t think in all honesty that anyone’s comments are racially orientated in the least. There is no reason to be adding the topic of race into this discussion it is unfounded and in my opinion inappropriate. Unless of course someone foolishly starts knocking the guy because of his ethnic background.

    Furthermore all of you people who are knocking bob down because of his opinions.

    Rudy you stuck out a lot by calling him a morally repugnant troll and an asswipe well I’m sorry to tell you honey but you are showing everyone you lack of taste and your own stupidity by your poor choice of words and how you chose to express them.

    Now granted the jib towards the mentally disabled was rather crude and childish. But most of you are sitting here throwing stones because of the man’s definition of beauty is different then your own. Well here is a small injection of reality. Everyone has a different opinion of what they think is beautiful. Just because it doesn’t match up with yours doesn’t mean that it is wrong. It is just different. As I stated earlier I don’t think that this guy is attractive. That doesn’t make me a bad person it just makes me different.

    Now we are all ‘different’… hell it is because we are ‘different’ that most of us frequent this site (which is not a bad thing). Maybe what we as a community should try and do is to practice a more tolerant attitude towards the beliefs and opinions of those who post here.

    Think about it. If we as gay men and women, want the rest of the worlds to accept and tolerate the way that we are, then don’t you think that we as a group should act with the same tolerance and understanding towards each other?

    What kind of message are we sending out to the world, those very people who we want to treat us equals? In order to change the way that the world sees us then maybe we have to change too. You never get anything for free in life. Instead there is a game of giving and getting so maybe we should give?

    P.S. my apologies for the length of my self righteous rant. I just felt the need to express what I feel on the matter.