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Philips launches “Buy Original” campaign to curb counterfeit trade in Kenya, empower consumers

By Standard Reporter | Oct 30th 2014 | 2 min read
By Standard Reporter | October 30th 2014

NAIROBI, KENYA: Royal Philips has launched its "Buy Original" campaign; an informative multi-year outreach aimed at protecting consumers, creating awareness about counterfeit products in the market and educating consumers on how to identify an original genuine product and a counterfeit one.

According to the Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) world-wide, cross-border trade in physical counterfeits alone costs the global economy $250 billion a year. In Africa, counterfeit products are posing serious concerns for local economies and brands that have worked hard to build reputation and consumer confidence in their markets.

Philips East Africa General Manager Roelof Assies said the company wants to work alongside consumers, government authorities, other multinational corporations and relevant organisations to see how they can collaborate to enlighten and inform the consumers on matters relating to counterfeits. "We urge the public to be 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," Assies said.

According to a statement from the firm, in Kenya and other countries, a number of Philips lamps (lighting products) sold are counterfeits. Cheap components found in the counterfeit lamps, such as the driver which regulates electrical voltage, cause the lamp to fail well before its stated lifetime. It can also prove to be a hazard because of the poor construction. Counterfeits are therefore dangerous to consumers.

The campaign kicks off in Kenya and will move across Sub-Saharan Africa.  Philips will introduce hologram security stickers (for lamps) and provide a unique 16-digit validation code for all lighting products.

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