A new report published today claims that the production of counterfeit luxury goods isn’t that bad. According to the Daily Mail the study, co-written by a Home Office advisor and part-funded by the EU, actually suggests that cheap rip-offs can benefit brands by acting as free advertising and that the financial losses to the luxury industry are not nearly as bad as reported because those who buy fake goods would probably never pay full price for the real thing anyway.
The report stops short of telling us all to go down to the local market and stock up on ‘Calvin Classics’ underwear, but even so it will come as a big shock to the luxury industry. Counterfeiting is treated as a serious crime in most European countries – in France you can face three years in prison for buying fake goods.
A spokesman for Louis Vuitton told the Mail: 'The sale of counterfeit goods is a serious offence whose revenue funds criminal organisations at the expense of consumers, companies and governments.'