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Consumer attitudes toward counterfeits: a review and extension

Celso Augusto de Matos (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (PPGA‐EA‐UFRGS), Brazil)
Cristiana Trindade Ituassu (Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil)
Carlos Alberto Vargas Rossi (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (PPGA‐EA‐UFRGS), Brazil)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 30 January 2007




The purpose of this research is to propose and test a model that integrates the main predictors of consumers' attitude and behavioral intentions toward counterfeits; to help companies understand the main factors influencing consumer behavior toward counterfeits and create effective anti‐piracy strategies.


An integrated model is proposed following the studies by Ang et al. and Huang et al. A survey with 400 consumers was conducted in the Brazilian market and the Structural Equation Modeling technique was used to test the hypothesized relationships.


The main contribution of the paper is to show that consumer intentions to buy counterfeited products are dependent on the attitudes they have toward counterfeits, which in turn are more influenced by perceived risk, whether consumers have bought a counterfeit before, subjective norm, integrity, price‐quality inference and personal gratification. The paper reinforces the mediator role of attitude in the relationship between these antecedents and behavioral intentions. Moreover, previous experience with counterfeits consumption does not have a direct effect on behavioral intentions, but only an indirect effect through attitude.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to inform policy makers and managers of brands about the main predictors of consumer's attitudes toward counterfeits. In this way, ads intended to discourage consumption of counterfeits could use the perceived risk as the main message appeal.


This paper investigates the key antecedents and consequences of consumer attitudes toward counterfeits by integrating and testing two recent models dealing with this subject in the marketing literature.



Augusto de Matos, C., Trindade Ituassu, C. and Vargas Rossi, C.A. (2007), "Consumer attitudes toward counterfeits: a review and extension", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 36-47.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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