1:5 Americans Find Quality in Counterfeit Products
One in five Americans (22 percent) said they believe the quality of counterfeit products is often the same as the quality of the real products, according to a recent survey. The Harris Poll that was conducted on behalf of The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (The Golf Group) highlighted several key gaps in Americans' perception of counterfeit products in the golf world and beyond. The gaps were magnified among younger Americans and in the golf industry. Twenty-nine percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) and 26 percent of those aged 35-44 said that counterfeits are often the same quality as the real products. Furthermore, only 58 percent of Americans said they believe golf products are counterfeited frequently—compared to 86 percent that said they believe fashion products are counterfeited frequently. "A lot of people feel like they're saving money or getting a high-quality product at a discount when they buy a counterfeit, but counterfeit products that have a utility simply don't perform at the same level or for the same amount of time as the real products," said Rawleigh Grove, Vice President and General Counsel for PING. "Real golf clubs, in particular, are built to last. Counterfeits, on the other hand, aren't manufactured under the same quality control standards. We've heard many stories of counterfeit clubs breaking after one round. There's not much savings in that scenario." The Office for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that counterfeit products across all industries cost the world approximately $250 billion each year. Within the golf industry, millions of counterfeit golf clubs, balls, bags, hats, etc. are produced each year. "We're thrilled about the growing awareness of golf's counterfeiting problem, but we know that there's room for improvement and the group is working hard to get there," said Brian Lynch, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Callaway Golf. "We will continue to devote resources to help close the gap in the public's knowledge of counterfeit products. As people become more aware of the problem, they will know how to spot the telltale signs of these illegal operations and consequently stop buying counterfeit products." In the September 2016 survey of 2,080 Americans, The Golf Group found several developments about the opinions of Americans toward counterfeit products: • Money Matters More - While the vast majority of Americans (77 percent) said that they believe buying known counterfeits is unethical, almost 1 in 3 (29 percent) said they would consider purchasing counterfeit products if it saves them money. • Millennials Miss the Message - Millennials are more likely than those aged 45 and older to admit they would consider purchasing counterfeit products if it saves them money—39 percent of Millennials say they would consider it, compared to 22 percent of those 45 and older. • Looks Make an Impression - About one quarter of Americans (24 percent) said they don't care if a product they purchased is counterfeit as long as it looks like the real thing.