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A new report has raised questions as to whether industry is taking the problem of counterfeiting seriously enough.

A survey by the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG)* found that a quarter of city analysts considered a brand scare regarding fakes to be much more harmful to a company than annual returns falling below expectations, or even the resignation of the CEO.

Despite this, the survey concluded that this issue is not being taken seriously. One in five marketing directors said they were spending less than one percent of their budgets on safeguarding their brands against fakes. One third were not aware of the size of their brand protection budget, believing it to be larger than it actually was.

Tim Behean, head of Intellectual Property for the adidas Group, comments that many firms do not understand the extent of the problem. He says: “Among many business people there is a lack of understanding of the negative impact of counterfeiting. Very often, people who are not on the front line underestimate the issue. A good example of this is products, often of limited lifespan, which suddenly become popular. The company will generally not have taken the necessary precautions against counterfeiting, and will see their brand’s success damaged as a result.”

Besides the loss of potential profits, fakes can damage a brand’s image in the eyes of a consumer. Paul Smith, Principal Standards Officer at West Yorkshire’s Fair Trading Department, points to one fashion label that lost its “aspirational” tag because of the proliferation of fakes. He states: “Last year, and the year before that, there were so many copies of one particular brand circulating that I gather none of the public locally wanted to buy their products any more – they became associated with cheapness and availability, rather than exclusivity. It has to be detrimental to the industry as a whole.”

Ruth Orchard, Director General of ACG, the organisation which commissioned the survey, says: “Industry must prioritise tackling the global problem of counterfeiting, which now affects every conceivable kind of product. ”

Counterfeiting is now a worldwide criminal industry. Interpol has set up a specialist Action Group, recognising that 'organised criminals and terrorists are heavily involved' in counterfeiting on a global scale, and the International Chamber of Commerce estimates it costs the global economy $440 billion annually.

* Source – MORI, June 2003. Size: 929 adults. Survey released in August 2004.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) represents the interests of over 200 companies in 30 different countries. It works through high profile media campaigns, roadshows and conferences to change society’s perception of counterfeiting and to underline its damaging economic and social impact. It lobbies all levels of government, from local to international, for more enforcement resources, and to bring in the necessary legislation to protect society from the increasing global threat of counterfeiting.

Copies of the report as a pamphlet or in PDF format are available. To receive one, or to request further information, please contact:

Damian Kerr
Hammond PR
(0207) 630 5040

Hammond PR
Egginton House
15-18 Buckingham Gate

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Hammond PR in the following categories: Business & Finance, for more information visit