The Comité Colbert said during a press conference today at the Bristol Hotel that it will post 10,000 posters in French airports as of June to deter visitors from buying knock-off luxury goods. The campaign is being launched in coordination with Customs and airport authorities.
Sporting tag lines such as “Buy a fake Cartier, get a genuine criminal record” and “Real ladies don’t like fake”, the ads remind travellers that being caught with fake goods can result in a fine of up to €300,000 or three years in jail.
Comité Colbert claims that such campaigns in France have proven effective. According to the organisation’s press release, “consumers in France are more aware than those in other EU countries that common European laws exist to protect intellectual property rights (84% of respondents in France, which ranked first among EU countries, according to a Eurobarometer survey in 2009)”.
US fashion blogs such as Fashionista and WWD caught wind of the press conference, where Comité Colbert president and CEO Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes said she wishes payment providers and banks would now get on board with anti-counterfeiting efforts. “We think it is strange that what has been done in the United States has not been done in France,” said des Portes, according to WWD.
In 2010, Comité Colbert helped to broker a deal among brand owners and internet platforms to tackle online sales of counterfeits.