FAST warns consumers on repercussions of counterfeit Christmas gifts after market rises | FAST

FAST warns consumers on repercussions of counterfeit Christmas gifts after market rises

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Clarke Willmott LLP report reveals nearly a fifth surveyed knowingly bought illegal goods

UK law firm Clarke Willmott's second annual counterfeiting survey, recently commissioned in conjunction with the firm's client, hair care brand  “ghd”, has delivered revealing results about the mind-set of consumers in the current retail landscape.

The survey was conducted by YouGov, with some 2,145 respondents, of which 22 per cent of men and 14 per cent of women openly admitted to having bought goods they knew or suspected to be counterfeit.

Of those who would consider purchasing counterfeit goods, 25 per cent admitted they would consider buying counterfeit DVDs, CDs and video games.

Furthermore, 15 per cent of adults admitted they would be happy to receive these counterfeit items. Overall, cost was highlighted as the biggest driver for buying counterfeit products (22%).

Commenting on the results, Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel at the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), says:

“It’s understandable but unfortunate that UK consumers are putting product costs before the safety and legality of goods bought this Christmas. It is particularly concerning when it comes to items such as software, as the consumer may encounter corruptive malware that would not initially be apparent unless you are a techie. Buying genuine licensed goods means that you can be sure of origin and that you are protected against the potential pitfalls that are common with faulty goods. 

“Organisations such as FAST actively use test purchase programs to catch suppliers and can trace purchasers. Whatever the short-term benefits are in purchasing gifts for loved ones, the potential repercussions of faulty goods could be less than savoury in the long run.”

Roy Crozier, partner and intellectual property solicitor at Clarke Willmott, adds: “The public needs to wake up to the threat posed by counterfeit goods and not be fooled into viewing it as a low level, almost victimless crime.

 “If you buy a counterfeit product from a faceless supplier you put yourself at risk in many ways, and you are funding a fraudulent business. If you are buying online, buy genuine products and avoid giving dodgy suppliers your details during a sale. Avoid dangerous and poor-quality products; it’s never worth it in the long run.”

To access the report in full, click here.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2145 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th-14th November 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

For further press information, please contact: Lyanna Tsakiris or Tom Spencer at JBP PR & Parliamentary Affairs on T: 0117 907 3400.