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Fake and pirated: do consumers care?

Peggy E. Chaudhry (Department of Management and Operations, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA)
Ludovica Cesareo (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 20 November 2017




The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the efficacy of messages in anti-counterfeiting campaigns that use a fear of legal prosecution, role models, peer pressure, linkages to organized crime and education.


A web survey of consumer perceptions regarding the effectiveness of different anti-counterfeiting campaigns on complicity was administered to 1,786 consumers in Brazil, China, India, Russia and the USA.


The effectiveness of the different anti-counterfeiting campaigns varies by country. Some can be used more successfully than others to limit complicity with the goal to transform consumers from accomplices of infringers to advocates of authenticity.

Research limitations/implications

An unexpected finding of this study was that several of the anti-counterfeiting campaigns were perceived as effective by consumers who reside in countries, such as China, that are well known for flourishing domestic counterfeit markets. Thus, these exploratory results provide a starting point for future researchers and practitioners to create and evaluate the efficacy of messages in anti-counterfeiting campaigns in markets where counterfeits and pirated goods are readily accessible in both physical and virtual markets.


Prior research establishes why consumers accept counterfeit and pirated products and also suggests a number of strategies to decrease its occurrence, mostly from a managerial perspective. This is the first multi-country study to assess whether consumers believe anti-counterfeiting campaigns will curb product counterfeiting.



Chaudhry, P.E. and Cesareo, L. (2017), "Fake and pirated: do consumers care?", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 11-19.



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