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Alien Anthropology

Countering Fake Brands

Once you start faking, you just can’t stop.

This issue of Fake Brands and commercial “knock-offs” represents interesting problem. These clearly exist on a spectrum that begins with the dodgy Rolex bought from a street vendor and ends with potentially life-threatening fake medicines. Most solutions appear to be retrospective, reactive and post facto attempts to influence behaviour or punish those purposefully profiting from this shadow industry.

While the problem of fake brands is complex and Globally-distributed, and while I agree that influencing consumer behaviour is an element in countering the problem, reactive countermeasures are of necessity always going to be at least partially, if not wholly, superficial and ineffective.

Hilarious – I don’t think they realised what it means.

The unacknowledged elephant-in-the-room of discussion surrounding debates of brand fidelity seems to be that the same commercial, psychological or existential and material obligation or imperative towards consumption that drives legitimate acquisitions is at an axiomatic level also the cause of the problem and persistence of fakes as a source of profit. If there were not genuine items, fakes would have no value.

Fake brands are a symptom of deeper, potentially intractable socioeconomic issues.

It is a little like expecting to keep growing an effective, if vast and sprawling cyber-security industry without ever accepting that the deep and irreducibly-complex, indefinitely-extensible logical and mathematical foundations of information technology which drive both the strength and the weakness of the technology are not actually being addressed in any foundational way by surveillance and retroactive interdiction.

Do we keep butting heads against the problem or do we seek to actually and effectively disentangle the core assumptions and socioeconomic or logical realities which lead to it? If the commercial value of any particular brand is always already and to some extent derived from the exclusivity and novelty or unique (perceived or projected) properties of that product, then the vacuum and need created at this base level is actually the problem.

I doubt very much whether anyone, anywhere is substantially interested in entirely reconfiguring or rewiring the Global economic system of commerce, consumption and profit but the fact remains that in any context such as this where there is concrete physical or economic harm being perpetrated, any policing or policy asserting prohibition which does not seek to address the core axioms, symmetries and logic amounts to little more than academic stamp collecting.

Multiplying disbelief does not amount to credibility.

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