Mysterious internet troll promotes non-existent brand

What is ATG and why can't you find anywhere to buy their amazing photographic gear?

Lighting troll

The internet is a strange place, filled with unexpected phenomena. One of its more obscure creations is forum user called Angel Heraeus, known by his handle “angelisone” who for one reason or another has taken it upon himself to promote an equipment manufacturer called ATG in comments on forums and YouTube.

Anybody who has taken a second to look up ATG will soon discover that it’s a fictional brand, whose “made in USA” products are nothing more than vapourware. Heraeus has to be admired for his dedication, since his troll campaign has been running on and off since 2008, getting him repeatedly banned from some discussion forums.

Evil Troll - by puuikibeach, on Flickr

Non-existent products from the USA-made “ATG” brand include:

  • ATG AK1 Un-Tethered Systems, a wireless camera tether
  • ATG Gold MG8K, a quick-recycling flashgun that never overheats
  • ATG Pro MG8000, another flashgun
  • ATG Gold Flash Kim II, a wireless radio flash that syncs up to 1/8000 second
  • ATG Gold Flash Kim III
  • ATG Gold Pro II, a speedlight with two flash tubes like the Nissin Di866 Mark II
  • ATG Elite Gold Battery Pack, so powerful that it’ll melt the Nikon SB-910 and Canon 600EX-RT
  • ATG Gold Wireless ETTL, a radio trigger better than Radiopoppers

He isn’t just a fan of ATG’s incredible products though. He also indicates a preference for Nissin, Quantum and Mecablitz flash gear and seems to disdain their Nikon and Canon counterparts. And don’t get him started on ultrabook laptops…

Being artificially controversial is certainly not a new thing. It’s a proven way to drive traffic to your web site or gain readers for your newspaper column – just ask Ken Rockwell or Jeremy Clarkson! But since Heraeus has no (real) products to sell, no web site to promote and nothing material to gain, it appears that the ATG campaign is an exercise in trolling in its purest psychological form. He must be well on his way to completing his doctoral thesis by now.

For some light entertainment, you can read a stream of angelisone’s YouTube comments here.

David Selby
Based in the West Midlands, UK, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a statistics PhD student.
  • Distanted

    I, for one, do all my fake shopping there. It’ll be a cold day in Hell before I spend my imaginary money supporting Chines fake product sites.

    Reminds me of an old SNL fake banking advertisement where all they do is make change: “People ask us how we can make a profit in making change…the answer is: volume.”

  • David A. Selby

    He’s started commenting on Lighting Rumours now:

  • Don’t feed the troll … Oh damnit … too late :D.

  • Clive Bolton
  • iphoto27

    Too many beginners always calling people names & branded people because beginners didn’t show up /nor afford to buy them.

    Show up this time before the year is over & see them yourself:

    ATG Photo Class/Clinic in the Washington DC areas.

    Cascades Library
    21030 Whitfield Place
    Potomac Falls (Sterling), VA 20165

    Sunday, 12/30/12

    It’s free to everyone.

    David, Clive and Greg, you guys going to show up?

    • middlepathtruth

      LOL, thanks for proving the author correct in that there is no such thing as ATG or these “products” you self serving scumbag

  • Kimber Shooter

    F1Two, More For Me, and 1lovu are other monikers he uses, at least on Flickr under the Sony forums.
    I have to believe that he is delusional, maybe schizophrenic even. Could it be possible that he actually believes that these products exist in some corner of his mind? I wouldn’t say no, but of course, since you can’t find any of this online or anywhere else, we know they don’t exist.
    Obviously, this person needs to see a psychiatrist, but since he believes it, or appears to, then he wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with him.
    Troll or mentally ill, either way, I feel sorry for the guy. I wish he would get help, and stay out of the forums.

  • Craig Volpe

    Here’s another alleged ATG product angelisone claimed: ATG Gold Canon EF200-400/2.8L IS with built-in Extender. The ATG Gold is 1 Stop faster & runs more than double [than the $12,000 Canon 200-400 f4 with built-in 1.4 extender].

  • Adil Alsuhaim

    It seems that he’s a scammer. He’s everywhere.

    I’d flag his posts and report him for abuse.