You may think PHILIX and PHELPS are electronic companies distributing consumer products whenever you spot this in retail shops and electronic outlets. Well, so you know, this are counterfeit products trying to emulate Philips a renown product line best for energy efficient lighting solutions. Yes, the counterfeits are known to have misspelled brand names which the consumer might not easily notice.
Counterfeits not only affect anyone, they affect everyone. Consumers are at a more impactful receiving end when it comes to fake products which is why Philips has rolled out its “Buy Original” campaign; an informative multiyear 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) worldwide, 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.
Counterfeiting is designed to mislead the public and all who are involved in buying and selling the product in order to make easy money by freeriding on the reputation of others. It is hard to pinpoint where the fake product or packaging is originally made, where the shipment originates, and who is responsible for exporting the product.
Buyers are often looking for the best deal and are not necessarily aware of the risks involved in purchasing a counterfeit product.Sinceconsumers in most instances aren’t even aware that they are buying fake products; Philips wants to put consumers in a position that they are confident that they are purchasing an original Philips product.
A genuine product is subject to quality and safety control and will protect the consumer and their family. It also provides customers the after sales guarantee and the peace of mind that the after-sales commitment will be honoured.
According to research conducted by the AntiCounterfeit Agency in Kenya, the level of counterfeiting in Kenya accounts for the largest deviations in both foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and economic growth; highlighting the need for the government, manufacturers, MNC’s and consumers to step up efforts in the fight against counterfeiting. This is why Philips has rolled out the ‘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.
Philips wants to work alongside consumers, government authorities, other MNCs and relevant organizations to see how they can collaborate together to enlighten and inform the consumers on matters relating to counterfeiting. 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.
In Africa, most fake products exist in the informal trading markets rather than in the modern retailers. Philips’ internal research indicates that the best performing products where consumer demand is high tends to fall prey to counterfeits including: dry irons, kettles, blenders, Philips AVENT baby bottles and certain lighting products such as TLD (tubes), starters, energy saving lamps such as Genie lamps, halogen lamps and fluorescent tubes.
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.
The company is also setting up a 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.
When purchasing Philips lighting products:
Make sure you find the unique code on the Security Label which will be on the box. In Kenya, you can SMS the 16-digit code to 20222 to receive verification of the product’s authenticity.
The label is fitted with digital anti-forgery technology and is fixed with secure die-cutting which ensures it’s completely destroyed when removed making it impossible to add to non-Philips products. The SMS portal will be rolled out in a week’s time.