Funding sought for ‘Don’t fake it’ campaign

  • 23 March 2000

Organizers of a Europe-wide campaign to label counterfeit goods as 'uncool' are asking industry and consumer groups to support the venture that will target the youth market.

The ‘Don’t fake it’ campaign to be co-ordinated by AIM, the European Brands Association, seeks to curb demand for counterfeit goods by highlighting the unethical side of product piracy.

Focusing on 10 to 15 year olds, the campaign will use school visits, the Internet and the media to present the moral arguments against fakes to the consumers of tomorrow. While the public frequently view counterfeiting as harmful only to the manufacturers, the ‘Don’t fake it’ campaign will draw attention to the links between counterfeiting, poor working conditions and the drugs trade.

The campaign organizers hope to launch the campaign in five European countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK – with a series of high-profile conferences publicizing the counterfeit cause to opinion formers, the media and consumers.

“Previous action against counterfeiting has tended to focus on the supply side or has been concerned with education on the dangers of certain products like fake pharmaceuticals. The difference with this campaign is that we are going for a more moral appeal,” said Philip Sheppard, Manager of Branding and Market Affairs at AIM.

European research conducted for AIM suggests that many consumers would hesitate before buying counterfeit when faced with the unethical aspects of their actions. By raising moral questions related to counterfeit the campaign aims to directly affect consumer attitudes. Rather than focusing on the lost revenues of legitimate manufacturers and of government coffers, campaigners hope to make counterfeit socially unacceptable.

“Through this campaign, young people should realize that counterfeit is not cool”, said Mr Sheppard. “Instead of being impressed with a fake Rolex, for example, we hope that teenagers might ask the wearer, ‘Do you realize how much the people who make that get paid?'”

The organisers are seeking financial support from industry for the campaign. National counterfeit groups and ethically minded organisations, such as the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), are also being approached to provide the necessary research and resources to ensure the campaign’s success.

If you would like further details of the campaign and how you can support it please contact the ICC Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau.