Skip to main content

Gibson Pulls Controversial YouTube Video Following Outcry

(Image credit: Jenn Angkahan)

Following an outcry from the guitar community, Gibson pulled a controversial video it uploaded, titled "Play Authentic," from YouTube this past weekend. 

The video, which featured the company's newly hired Director of Brand Experience, Mark Agnesi, appeared to be a thinly veiled threat to other guitar manufacturers specializing in Gibson-esque designs. 

“It’s a common misconception that a brand is just in a logo," Agnesi said in the video, according to Gear News. "The Les Paul, Flying V, Explorer, SG, Firebird, Thunderbird and ES shapes are trademarked shapes of Gibson. The design, from the components to the actual shapes, are an integral part of the Gibson DNA.

“You have been warned," he said. "We’re looking out and we’re here to protect our iconic legacy.”

Agnesi continued by saying “This isn’t about us being bullies or trying to stifle the boutique marketplace.” Perhaps unsurprisingly though, reception of the missive was decidedly negative. 

It remains to be seen what the effect of this somewhat bizarre video will be, following the company's extensive post-bankruptcy image rehabilitation campaign, which included an impressive showing at the 2019 NAMM show and a new, streamlined lineup of instruments.  

Gibson has yet to comment on the video, or its decision to remove the video from its YouTube channel. 

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.