Philips launched its ‘Buy Original’ campaign yesterday. An informative multi-year outreach aimed at protecting consumers, creating awareness about counterfeit products in the market and educating consumers in identifying an original genuine product versus a counterfeit one.
According to the Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) world-wide, cross border trade in physical counterfeits alone cost the global economy USD 250 billion a year. In Africa, counterfeit products are posing serious concerns for local economies and brands who have worked hard to build reputation and consumer confidence in their markets.
Philips is tackling this issue through the launch of its “Buy Original” campaign, which will introduce effective measures for consumers to be able to easily identify and verify Philips original consumer appliances and lighting products.
“While there are no reliable industry wide statistics on the number of products that are counterfeits; from market feedback we receive, we know that this issue is very severe. Philips wants to work alongside consumers, government authorities, other MNCs and relevant organizations to see how we can collaborate together to enlighten and inform the consumers on matters relating to counterfeiting. We urge the public to become 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,” said Roelof Assies, General Manager, Philips East Africa.
The Philips “Buy Original” campaign kicks-off in Kenya and will move across Sub-Saharan Africa in Q1 2015. Philips will be introducing innovative hologram security stickers (for lamps) and providing a unique 16 digit code validation code for all Philips Lighting products, as well as the “original” sticker for their consumer lifestyle and lighting products to enable consumers to easily and instantaneously identify originals.
This is being supported by a two-year guarantee on all original Philips products as well as a comprehensive Point-of-Sale (instore) and media led customer education programme and an extensive print and radio advertisement campaign.
Philips is also setting up an SMS number for authentication of the Philips Lighting portfolio in case of doubt; the Consumer (in Kenya) has to send the 16-digit serial number of the lighting product via sms to 20222 and they will receive immediate feedback on whether the product they are planning to buy or have bought is genuine or fake. This is a pilot and if proven successful, Philips will explore rolling this out to the consumer lifestyle category of products too.
Philips is setting up a dedicated website www.philips.com/buyoriginal where consumers can send queries or feedback and also where they can find details of genuine v/s counterfeit products as well details of all Philips authorized distributors.
“The issue of counterfeit products has serious repercussions for consumers’ health and safety. Buyers are often looking for the best deal and are not necessarily aware of the risks involved in purchasing a counterfeit product. Protecting the consumer is our number one priority. The Philips ‘Buy Original’ campaign will not only allow consumers to easily identify a Philips original but empower them to take the necessary steps in reducing counterfeit trading in the country.” Added Roelof Assies.
“It is imperative that consumers only buy Philips products from approved distributors and retailers because when you purchase a Philips original, you are buying safe, superior technology every time,” concludes Roelof Assies.