Here are two very different treatments of the knock-off problem.
This is an article from the Washington Post reporting on the “Get Real” campaign by the interior design industry making the business case against customers purchasing knock-offs: inferior manufacture means less value to the customer. That’s the real Herman Miller Noguchi table pictured right.
In contrast, here is what in my view is the irresponsible piece from the Rocky Mountain News I mentioned yesterday making the case for buying infringing merchandise and actually providing URLs for websites that sell what at first glance looks like infringing merchandise.
I will be surprised if the Rocky Mountain piece stays online past the weekend. They are likely to hear from LVMH, Burberry or Dooney and Bourke by then.
The fact that style columnists for a major city daily could run a piece like this illustrates two points:
The moral argument against purchasing knock-offs does not resonate with a significant part of the population (but looking at the music download situation, this is not shocking); and, I think, more importantly:
The business argument against purchasing knock-offs does not resonate with a significant part of the population.
The ‘Get Real’ campaign looks like a step in the right direction. Brand owners need to communicate that manufacturers who aren’t concerned with respecting the rights of others, probably don’t value customer satisfaction too highly either.
Most knock-offs are rip-offs.