Counterfeit products pose serious concerns for local economies and brands who have worked hard to build reputation and consumer confidence in their markets. According to the Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) world-wide, cross border trade in physical counterfeits alone cost the global economy USD 250 billion a year.
Africa and LatAm are by far the worst due to poor control of the trade by regimes. However, in a move to combat countefeit trade in Africa and protect its customers as well as brand, Royal Philips has launched a“Buy Original” campaign.
The campaign aims at making consumers aware of fake products in the market especially those targeting Philips and using corrupted names similar to the Philips brand such as Phillips, Phelps, Filips among others.
Roelof Assies, General Manager, Philips East Africa said, “Philips wants to work alongside consumers, government authorities, other MNCs and relevant organizations to see how we can collaborate together to enlighten and inform the consumers on matters relating to counterfeiting. We urge the public to become more vigilant and question products that seem to be unusually cheap, appear poorly made, or have generic packaging; especially when shopping at discount stores.”
We would like to encourage consumers to shop from approved Philips distributors and retailers and look for the “Original” sticker on our products.”
The Philips “Buy Original” campaign kicks-off in Kenya and will move across Sub-Saharan Africa in Q1 2015. Philips will be introducing innovative hologram security stickers (for lamps) and providing a unique 16 digit code validation code for all Philips Lighting products, as well as the “original” sticker for their consumer lifestyle and lighting products to enable consumers to easily and instantaneously identify originals.
The firm will also emphasize its two-year guarantee on all original Philips products as well as a comprehensive Point-of-Sale (instore) and media led customer education programme and an extensive print and radio advertisement campaign.
Philips is also setting up a 16-digit serial number for consumers to send via sms to 20222 so that the firm notifies them whether the lighting product they are about to buy is genuine or fake. This is a pilot and if proven successful, Philips will explore rolling this out to the consumer lifestyle category of products too.
The firm also said it has dedicated www.philips.com/buyoriginal for consumers to send queries or feedback or find more details of genuine v/s counterfeit products as well details of all Philips authorized distributors.
Philips aims to use the campaign to allow consumers to easily identify a Philips original and empower them to take the necessary steps in reducing counterfeit trading in the country.