CNBC's Counterfeit Goods program estimates the cost to the US at $600 billion...
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CNBC’s Crime, Inc. did a good job on the counterfeit issue, (you can pick up the show on the web here) educating the public on the scope of the problem, and giving kudos to Customs for their work.
In addition, on their web site CNBC has some interesting content you might want to check out, such as the slideshow: Top 10 seized counterfeit goods. No surprise that luxury watches, handbags, Viagra and 'Barbie' are in the top goods. Poor Barbie, since her manufacturing was outsourced to China, she has had many contenders vying for the affection of millions of little girls around the world.
But the dark side of all this is the violation of Intellectual Property rights. It’s your product, your idea, and someone just decides to steal it! Or even worse, poor or toxic ingredients are put in counterfeit products and can make people sick.
Though consumers can stop all this by buying genuine goods, it is the companies themselves that need better risk management strategies, as well as a change in how they source and manage supplier relationships.
New Balance, highlighted in the show, displayed tenacity and vigilance, and it paid off for them. But many firms have not fine-tuned their process and technology approaches to protect their products, their brands, and most importantly, their customers.