The International Trademark Association (INTA), a powerful not-for-profit association of trademark owners and major fashion and consumer product brands, recently launched a new anti-counterfeiting campaign at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. The Unreal Campaign aims to educate teens about the value of trademarks and the negative effects of counterfeiting through social media, traditional media, school seminars and special events.
According to the INTA’s most recent press report, research indicates that teens are conscious of the availability of fake goods and have an acute awareness of branded products, but are unaware of the potential harms and victims of piracy and counterfeiting.
“Teens’ purchasing power will only increase over time, and they will soon be the next generation of consumers. With that in mind, we see a tremendous opportunity for INTA to arm teens with as much information about the economic, social and health risks involved with counterfeiting as possible,” said Alan C. Drewsen, Executive Director of INTA.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) 2011 Special 301 Report shows that counterfeiting has rapidly evolved in recent years from a localized industry concentrating on copying high-end retail goods to a sophisticated global business involving the mass production of vast array of goods. From counterfeit apparel, health care products, automobile parts and everything in between, counterfeit goods diminish the profits of legitimate producers and risk great harm to consumers who may purchase fraudulent, potentially dangerous goods.
While counterfeiting and global intellectual property law has found a larger place in the public’s social conscious in the past decade due to the relationship between the public, Internet piracy and the evolution of the Internet itself, the INTA hopes to educate teens beyond illegal downloads to the greater economic consequences of the practice. From the perspective of public and consumer health and safety, the current state of counterfeiting is a pressing concern.