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Counterfeits hurting economy

30 October 2014, 12:48 Mike Munga

Nairobi - Philips company has rolled out an initiative to highlight the existence of counterfeit products in Kenya in-order to create awareness and educate consumers on how to identify original appliances.

The 'buy original' campaign kicks-off in Kenya and moves later across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The company will introduce innovative hologram security stickers for lamps to enable consumers to easily identify originals.

They will also provide a unique 16-digit validation code for all Philips lighting products as well as the original stickers.

In addition, they will set up a SMS number for customers to authenticate the products in case of doubt and also a dedicated website where they will be interacting.

General Manager Philips East Africa, Roelof Assies, during a press briefing Wednesday said Philips wants to nurture consumer confidence in their products.

Read Also: ATMs dispense fake notes

He said they will do this by putting adverts in print media, radio, TV, internet and other platforms.

The Manager also requested investigative journalists to identify the scale of the problem in Kenya by doing investigative pieces on the problem.

"The issue of counterfeit products has serious repercussions for consumers' health and safety. Buyers are often looking for the best deal and are not necessarily aware of the risks involved in purchasing a counterfeit product," he said, adding that consumer protection is their priority.

He said a genuine product is subject to quality and safety control and will protect the consumer from damages.

"Counterfeiting is designed to mislead the public and all who are involved in buying and selling the product, and we urge all relevant authorities to come on board so we can end it," he said.

Consumer lifestyle commercial leader, George Mudhune, said the counterfeit problem is affecting all East African countries and companies have shut down leading to job loss and poor economy.

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