Friday, 26 March 2010

No Fake Smokescreen

News that 25 million sticks or Ksh 125 million (about US Dollar 1.5 million) worth of fake cigarettes were consumed in the Kenyan market last year is reported by A24Media. British American Tobacco estimates that the illicit cigarette market accounts for about 12 per cent of the total market consumption in Kenya. Anti-counterfeit budgets for Africa often struggle to win fights for money in big corporates, typically because of the low importance of Africa relative to other continents, the difficulties (sometimes perceived) of enforcing IP rights in Africa and a lack of understanding of the impact that counterfeiting has on brands. At some point though the problems (as illustrated by this news) are so self evident that budgets will simply have to increase, especially as anti-counterfeit legislation and international funding take hold.

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