Fraud: Breaking the Habits of Young Consumers – Branding | So Good News


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With the technological advancement of the Internet, the availability of more content and information is accompanied by the availability of content that infringes IP rights.

If it is possible to find interesting entertainment on a paid subscription service, it is also possible to find on the Internet the same film, music or game on platforms that offer this opportunity sometimes for free and without the right permission. The same thing happens with fake clothes and shoes, which are available at low prices.

EUIPO’s 2022 IP Youth Scoreboard

According to the 2022 IP Youth Scoreboard, released by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in June 2022, the chances of knowingly acquiring fake or fraudulent digital content have increased.

The main objective of this research, carried out by the EUIPO, is to understand the views of young people in the EU member states regarding intellectual property rights in digital services. The first edition took place in 2016 and it is possible to notice a change in the attitude of online shoppers since then, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, when online shopping increased.

According to the Youth Scoreboard, in 2019 only 14% of respondents confirmed that they had bought fake goods on purpose. These numbers jumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching 37% of respondents in 2022.

The results of the 2022 survey showed that price is the main factor in the deliberate purchase of counterfeit goods, as was the case in 2016 and 2019, where 48% of respondents confirmed that low prices were the reason for purchasing counterfeit goods.

The second main reason was the lack of concern that the product was fake (27% of respondents) and the belief that there was no difference between the original and the fake (24% of respondents).

Clothing and accessories accounted for 29% of fake purchases, and shoes 23%, which increased by 24% and 19% respectively from 2019. %, respectively, in the last three years.

Regarding access to online platforms such as movies, TV shows and music, the main reason for the deliberate use of illegal sites was the high cost of legal advertising services. In the results of the survey, the respondents expressed their frustration and injustice in this matter, indicating that the access to illegal products was a form of protest.

This behavior can benefit consumers if it causes platforms to review their pricing and benefits to subscribers. However, the success of young people who have paid money is difficult if they see that access to illegal places is a democratic way and cultural means for all.

Statistical control methods

It is possible to find ways to improve the results shown in the EUIPO study. For starters, focusing on risk awareness can help change young people’s perception of illegal and counterfeit goods.

In this study, the respondents confirmed that they would think twice before buying fraudulent products or accessing illegal sites if there is information about risks.

It is important to note, however, that the risks that affect young people are related to their losses, not to social, cultural or commercial damage. The biggest red flags that respondents said would make them reconsider acquiring illegal or unauthorized products were the possibility of credit card details being stolen (43%), lack of product warranty (34%) and their risk. computers have viruses (34%).

Other factors that respondents said would influence their decision were the potential for counterfeit products to be harmful to health (31%) and the risk of punishment (22%).

The question remains as to how to deal with the fraudulent practice perpetuated by the youth. One of the ways to solve this problem is to understand that for these consumers, social media programs are the main influencers of behavior or behavior and paid advertising can dictate decisions through the repeated results displayed on the smartphone.

Media influencers

Social media influencers are an important sector, given that they are trusted by the public as opinion leaders, according to research and analysis of media influencers who promote false content released by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

According to the investigation, some social media companies have contracts with suppliers of fake goods to promote the sale of these goods. This promotion can increase access to illegal properties and, as confirmed by this study, affects the behavior of young people.

In the EUIPO’s Youth Scoreboard survey, some of the respondents said that most of the influencers advertise original and high-quality products, which encourages the search for similar products.

But some respondents revealed that in some social media applications, where videos are displayed based on user preferences, users can be directed to videos or posts by people who promote false content. These videos often show comparisons with the original, or experiments showing the ‘good’ of fake products, such as reviews of purchases.

The end

With great power comes great responsibility. In the same way that social influencers can persuade their audience to consume products and services, it would not be unreasonable to ask them to lead their followers to follow the rules and buy legal products. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the culture of digital users. It’s not just about rights and opportunities, it’s also about jobs.

In addition, new services should be provided to the owners of social networks. From the observation of ingredients, allergenic substances, the age indicated and the risk of using drugs, companies have been forced to ensure that consumers have good and mental health. Requiring digital platforms to include warnings about public and financial risks is another way to allow digital consumers to benefit.

Given the repeated advertising delivered to media users to encourage drinking, it is possible that repeated warnings may encourage more alcohol consumption.

The full 2022 IP Youth Scoreboard report is available here.

This is a co-published article, originally published in the World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR).

The content of this article is intended to provide guidance on this topic. Professional advice should be sought for your specific situation.


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