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Fifth of Britons buy counterfeits online says new study

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today Dec 10, 2019
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As many as one in five UK consumers are knowingly buying counterfeit products, despite the fact that they realise the potential links to organised crime, terrorism and child labour, a new study showed this week.


Consumers are buying large numbers of fakes online



And the figures are higher for the fashion sector with 28% of Britons saying they would “consider” knowingly buying fake watches, footwear, clothing, leathergoods and jewellery from online counterfeit resellers.

While 44% of UK consumers are well aware of the risks posed by fake pharmaceuticals and say they pose the biggest threat to society, they’re ignoring the risks that come with buying fake fashion items. Only 13% list the wider effects of these knock-offs, as the biggest threat.

The research comes from brand protection specialist Incopro, which said that of the one in five people who have knowingly chosen fake goods, 36% of those have bought more than four items in the last 12 months.

That's the bad news, but on the upside, 37% of UK consumers want law enforcement authorities and the police to do more to stop the sale of counterfeit goods online.

And it's interesting that younger consumers are calling on brands themselves to take the responsibility to stop fakes making their way into homes. Some 27% of 18-24-year olds say they need to do more, with nearly half of those in that category (48%) saying they have lost trust in a brand after purchasing a counterfeit.

That's a big problem for brands. Not only are they suffering from the infringement of their copyright and the loss of revenue that comes with it, but in some way they're being blamed by consumers for the fact that criminals are faking their products and consumers are buying them.

Piers Barclays, Chief Strategy Officer at Incopro, said: “With the shopping peak upon us, the risks of counterfeit activity are amplified as online shoppers seek out deals this holiday season. Our research shows that some consumers are regularly being tricked into buying counterfeit goods. 

“However, more shockingly, the volume of consumers who are happy to ignore the links between counterfeiting and organised crime, making the conscious decision to purchase fake products, shows the importance of collaboration between brands, platforms and authorities to stop infringers and prevent this societal harm.”

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