A new YouGov survey has found that 13% of people it asked would happily accept a fake watch as a Christmas present this year.
The study of 2,000 UK consumers, carried out by law firm Clarke Willmott LLP and hair care brand GHD, claims to show a rise in the number of people happy to accept knock-offs at Christmas time.
It found that 13% of people surveyed said they would be happy to accept a counterfeit watch or a fake piece of jewellery as a present this year, while 19% would be happy to accept copycat clothes or shoes and 8% would be happy to be given fake electric goods.
Nearly a quarter, 24%, of those surveyed said they would be happy to receive a counterfeit item for a Christmas present this year, compared with 22% in a similar survey last year. The survey conducted this year also found that 18% admitted to buying a product they knew or suspected was a counterfeit item, up from 17% in last year’s survey, and 10% said they had been tempted by fake goods, up from 9% last year.
While many consumers in the UK seem happy to receive counterfeit goods, there is some trepidation about buying them. 51% said they were concerned about being caught buying counterfeit goods in the run up to Christmas, while 63% said they would not buy fake goods because of concerns over quality. Of those who would not buy counterfeit goods, 43% are put off by the illegality while 47% are deterred by the links between fake goods and criminal gangs.
Clarke Willmott partner and intellectual property specialist Roy Crozier said: “Retailers and suppliers should redouble their efforts around anti-counterfeiting especially in the run-up to Christmas. The results of this year’s survey show increase in scale of demand and changing attitude towards counterfeit goods, whether it’s people buying them, tempted into buying them in the future or receiving them.
“If customers aren’t educated about the risks of buying counterfeits and how to avoid unwittingly doing so, then retailers and legitimate manufacturers risk losing out on crucial sales in a tough market. There are some quite simple measures that could be taken, like introducing a website checker so the public can avoid copycat websites.”