According to a new European Union-funded report "buying designer goods can benefit consumers and the companies whose brands are being ripped off." This has definitely got us on our hand tooled soap box. "Professor David Wall, who co-authored the report and advises the government on crime, said the real cost to the industry from counterfeiting could be one-fifth of previously calculated figures." "It's probably even less," he said. "There is also evidence that it actually helps the brands, by quickening the fashion cycle and raising brand awareness." Right, we’d like to know which brands he is talking about here. What kind of brand awareness are we raising from products that are in colours the designers never developed, with different finishing details and not in the same raw materials, the list goes on. This ‘awareness’ is simply impure and incorrect.
Although we agree law enforcement has its hands full, we also believe time should be spent on counterfeiting and 'fake' anything should not be encouraged. In our book, to not take seriously a very large part of the counterfeit trade which is clothing and accessories manufacturing is sending a huge nod of encouragement to all of those operators manufacturing counterfeit goods to say it is OK. In essence the general take out from this report appears to be irresponsible and will serve to only further damage the luxury industry and encourage the counterfeiters.
It is a truism that the majority of people who purchase 'fakes' would not be able to purchase the real thing anyway, and the old adage "to be copied is the highest form of flattery", the cost to luxury brands more than anything is the erosion of their brand value. What this report seems to forget is that luxury products are rare, exclusive and unique due to their raw materials and often bespoke manufacturing methods, whereby the process is expensive and therefore only available to a specific target market. Luxury companies spend millions of dollars each year, out of their own respective monogrammed billfolds, to tackle these issues head on.
As reported in The MO Down earlier, Fakes Goods Can Equal Fake People, do we really want to encourage a growing rate of fake folk? We really don't think so. Whilst in the UK there is a crack down on people who trade fake goods, the government have turned against criminalizing those who buy into the trade- when and where can we expect a steady level of action?
Here is some food for thought: Did you know that annual sales of counterfeit goods total an estimate US$600billion worldwide, almost 7% of global trade? Whilst these figures include industries other than luxury goods, one can see the 'fake' business is incredibly lucrative. As we've said before and we would like our readers assistance in this quest, to educate friends, family and foes that Fakes really are for Frauds!
Image credit: sybarites.com
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