Philips re-strategises to tackle products’ counterfeiting

PhilipsWorried by the high level of product counterfeiting of leading world companies as well as the consequent economic woes of such actions on concerned companies, a diversified health and wellbeing company, Royal Philips has unveiled measures to tackle this menace and ensure customers get value for their money.

Tagged: “Philips Buy Original Campaign”, the company launched an awareness campaign to highlight the existence of counterfeit products in Nigeria and West Africa and empower consumers to make right choices when making product purchases.

According to Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC), cross border trade in physical counterfeits alone cost the global economy $250 billion a year.

In Nigeria, a yearly loss of N200 billion is attributed to adulteration and counterfeited products, and has remained a growing concern for local economies and brands that have worked hard to build reputation and consumer confidence in their products.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Lagos, recently, the General Manager, Personal Health, Philips West Africa, Chioma Iwuchukwu-Nweke said that the campaign is geared towards protecting consumers and creating awareness about counterfeit products in the market and educating them in identifying a genuine product.

She noted that the level of counterfeiting in the country is so diverse that it accounts for the largest deviations in both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows and economic growth.

Chioma noted that multinational companies like theirs are always the target because of their brand equity, adding that the equity worth of Philips, which she disclosed to be over $9 billion makes them a easy target.

Noting that the company’s focus is on affecting the lives of its consumers, Iwuchukwu-Nweke who however expressed knowledge of counterfeited products of the company in the market, disclosed that the company’s mission is to affect three billion lives across the world by 2025, adding, “there’s no way we can achieve this without tackling a troubling aspect of the industry, counterfeiting”.

She said: “I think it’s important for Philips to live its mission of improving three billion lives by 2025, but we can’t do that knowing that we are inundated with fake products in this country. Our main focus and concern is our customers’ wellbeing, but these people are at risk, dying as a result of use of fake products and appliances that can cause fire; babies are at risk from the use of Avent baby bottles made with wrong materials.

“I think it is very vital and of great importance that we launch this campaign to make sure that everyone is aware and know how to identify original and fake products. The consumers are powerful; often times, we underestimate the power of consumers. Our approach is for them to demand the original and that’s why we want to educate the consumers on why to identify and get the original. If they demand for the original, the head where this is happening will automatically be cut off because there will be no one to sell it.”

The General Manager- Lighting, West Africa, Felix Darko who stated that the company is the global leader when it comes to lighting listed the measures put in place to combat the counterfeiting menace to include a Holographic Security Sticker with a mark of Africa in it which disintegrates when tampered with; a unique 16-digit security labels on each product, meant to confirm the authenticity of the product through Short Message Service (SMS) to a short code, 20822 with an instant response and training and retraining of their distributors.

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