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Fake goods bought mostly by people who cannot afford genuine articles

| October 3, 2013

Northern Ireland (NI) is the regional counterfeit capital of the U.K., according to a BBC Online story quoting the results of a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report that looked at the economic impact of counterfeiting.

People in NI were said to have admitted buying more fake clothing and accessories, films, music and alcohol than those in other regions. (Presumably, the survey methodology ruled out the possibility that the people of NI might be more honest when answering questions than are those in other regions.)

More than half of those surveyed in NI said they “sometimes” bought fake items—the highest regional percentage in the U.K.

And 64 percent of those who bought counterfeit products said they did so because they could not afford the real thing, a claim that rings true in the case of cigarettes given that the U.K. government raises taxes so as to make these products unaffordable.

The report, Counterfeit Goods in the UK—Who is buying what, and why?, said adults regularly bought counterfeit alcohol, cigarettes, medicines, films and music, clothes and car parts.

Mark James, of PwC’s anti-counterfeiting team, was quoted as saying that counterfeit goods impacted on profit and jobs, yet people increasingly saw it as a normal, consumer choice.

“The digital economy and global supply chains have made tracking counterfeit goods and measuring their economic damage fiendishly complex,” he said.

Meanwhile, The Scotsman reported that, according to the report, Scottish consumers were less likely than people in other parts of the U.K. to buy counterfeit goods. Thirty-two percent of people in Scotland admitted they sometimes bought fake clothing and accessories, compared with 53 percent of people in NI and 41 percent of people in the U.K. overall.

But the newspaper said that whereas 9 percent of respondents in Scotland owned up to buying fake cigarettes, only 6 percent of those in NI did so.

A report by Rebecca Smithers for The Guardian pointed out that, across the U.K. as a whole, 13 percent of people admitted to buying “imitation branded cigarettes, despite the obvious health risks of such products.”

Category: Breaking News

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