The projects are communication initiatives which the Directorate-General has taken as part of agreements (protocols of agreement and conventions) with local agencies, consumer associations and the production sector. These are broad-based initiatives, involving awareness, information, education, analysis and prevention activities for the fight against counterfeiting, with the full involvement of all operators throughout the country.

The “Fakes make no sense” exhibition - An exhibition against counterfeiting in all senses
"Counterfeiting just doesn't make sense", the first Italian exhibition on the fight against counterfeiting, was inaugurated in January, 2011. The event was organised by Directorate-General in conjunction with Unioncamere and Italian businesses whose trademarks are some of the most well-known in the sectors hit especially hard by counterfeiting. Visitors were able actually to compare original and counterfeit products as they navigated their way through displays arranged according to the five senses and merchandise sector, i.e. 'touch' was associated with fashion/luxury goods, 'hearing' was associated with automotive products, 'smell' with cosmetics and beauty products, 'sight' with design and 'taste' with food items. The project was arranged as a constant parallel between "true" and "false", in order to highlight the differences between original products manufactured using quality materials, attention to detail and in compliance with safety standards, and the poor-quality copies, often dangerous for consumers. The exhibition, which was held in Palazzo Ruspoli in the heart of Rome, attracted over 6,000 visitors in the two weeks for which it ran. The event was promoted with adverts on national and local radio stations, video circuits in national and metropolitan railway stations, adverts in widely distributed magazines and the free press, articles on the Internet and also creation of the website www.ilfalsononhasenso.it

“Buy legal on the beach”
The Directorate-General and Cidec – Confederazione Italiana Esercenti Commercianti jointly created an awareness campaign called “Be legal at the beach”, performed for the first time in July, 2009, and repeated the following year, in July, 2010, with the objective of increasing public awareness of illegal trading and counterfeiting, which is an ever-present phenomenon on all Italian beaches throughout the summer months. The initiative involved putting up posters and distributing information brochures at all beaches, inviting the public not to encourage illegal trading and not to purchase counterfeit goods. The material was positioned and distributed in all beach establishments and on free beaches throughout the country.

" Don’t haggle about quality"
The Directorate-General, in conjunction with ANCI Puglia and the municipal authorities of Bari and Brindisi, ran the " Don’t haggle about quality" campaign on the fight against counterfeiting from 21 to 23 December, 2009, in the towns of Bari and Brindisi. The aim was to increase public/consumer awareness, particularly among the younger generations, encouraging them to support the principle of responsible and legal purchases which cause no damage, and three days of awareness initiatives were organised at two info-points in Bari and Brindisi. Information material on counterfeiting was distributed at the two info-points and videos from the national fight counterfeiting awareness campaign were broadcast on a screen.

“Fakes? No thanks –I'd rather be safe”
In 2010, the Directorate-General initialled a protocol of agreement and a subsequent enforcing agreement with eight Italian Consumer Associations: Acu, Adiconsum, Adoc, Assoutenti, Codici, Federconsumatori, Movimento consumatori, Movimento difesa del cittadino. This was the foundation for planning and performing various communication initiatives: an initial fact-finding survey on counterfeiting was conducted through a consumer questionnaire; this was followed by a national information and awareness campaign, organisation of various events, participation in specialist trade fairs, creation of a newsletter and opening of a series of info-points, preceded by a series of training sessions for those responsible for managing them throughout the country. The Directorate-General and consumer associations supported these initiatives by producing various information material (brochures, posters, leaflets, cards, etc.) and five "guidebooks" for consumers, which were also translated into English, each of which dealt with a specific merchandise sector (food, clothing and accessories, toys, cosmetics, car/motorcycle spare parts and household appliances), prepared with the support of the category associations representing the firms concerned.

“For Christmas give a real gift – make it original”
Once again under the agreements signed by DGLC-UIBM and the Consumer Associations, in December 2010 and 2011, the Christmas campaign "Give a real gift at Christmas, choose an original" was launched, through the website of the Directorate-General and all media and Internet channels of the Consumer Associations. The primary goal of the scheme was to encourage ordinary citizens to make responsible, legal choices on the basis of guaranteed quality and safety. This is even more important during the Christmas period as the increase in the number of consumer purchases leads to an increase in the number of counterfeit goods in circulation. The production and distribution of toys and Christmas decorations is chiefly where counterfeit operations peak.

"Young minds, great inventions“
The "Big and small inventors grow up" project was the brainchild of the Directorate-General, which started working with the Tagliacarne Institute and Elea Spa in 2009 on a series of initiatives aimed at activating a direct link between protection of industrial property and the fight against counterfeiting, for primary and secondary schools, in order to increase awareness among youngsters of the consequences of purchasing and use of counterfeit goods, both in financial and consumer protection terms. The project was a great success and many schools and teachers enthusiastically participated in guiding their own students in learning about these topics; the event was so popular that it was included in such a major showcase as the World Intellectual Property Day. The same area of activity and similar educational and awareness purposes were also the basis for the "Ideas Award" (held for the first time in December, 2004), a competition for primary and secondary schools throughout the country. The competition rewarded the students and their schools which, taking the problems of their own day-to-day lives as the starting point, created the best and most useful designs, or found new uses or new forms for existing objects. By involving the education system, not only through the competition, but also through a program of seminars, the Directorate-General is supporting a broad cultural initiative, implemented through actions aimed directly at the younger members of society. Various promotional products (brochures, posters, gadgets, etc.) were created to support the project and dedicated information was provided on the web.

 

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