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INTA campaign targets teens

On Tuesday, INTA will unveil a consumer awareness campaign aimed at educating teenagers about the potential harms and risks of counterfeit goods

It's an Association-wide and long-term goal to expand the program to other parts of the world. For now, the campaign is focused on 14-18 year-olds in the U.S.—an important age group, says Jessica Tuquero, INTA's Communications Manager. "Their purchasing power is just developing," Tuquero adds. "They're going to be the next generation of consumers. It's the perfect age to reach them and arm them with as much information on this issue so the next time they're approached by counterfeiters, they understand what's at stake."

INTA teamed up with marketing firm AMP Agency to gauge how teens perceived counterfeit goods through focus groups in New York and Boston. Teens from other cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta completed assignments and questionnaires to let INTA know how to best educate their peers. "One of the most interesting things is that they prefer peer-to-peer information," Tuquero says. "They appreciate their peers' opinions and feedback. They responded negatively against any celebrity spokesperson. The teens suggested they would best learn through ads, video diaries and simulations of buying counterfeit products.

Through the research, INTA learned the following: social media is a source of information and influence for teens, the counterfeit goods they cited most were fashion and electronics, and many of them had either bought or knew someone who had bought counterfeit products. "At first, we didn't see any remorse from the teenagers about buying counterfeit goods. There's a perception out there that it's a victimless crime," Tuquero says. "But once we educated small groups about some harmful effects of counterfeit goods, they understood it a bit more and said they wanted to think twice before buying counterfeit goods."

The campaign will reach teens through social media and partnerships with educators. At Tuesday's press conference, INTA President Gregg Marrazzo will deliver remarks. High school students from the Washington, D.C. area will also attend.

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