Harper’s Bazaar Voices Support for Anti-Copying

In a recent interview talking to ACID’s CEO Dids Macdonald,Valerie Salembier Senior Vice President of Harper’s Bazaar responded to the folowing questions in support of anti-copying:

Harper's Bazaar
Valerie Salembier with Raymond Kelly at The Anticounterfeiting Summit 2007

Why has a major consumer title like Harper’s Bazaar taken this initiative to raise consumer awareness about counterfeiting?

Harper’s Bazaar U.S. is the only magazine to take on the issue of counterfeiting, an insidious crime that has huge financial and moral implications and affects so many of our clients in the luxury sector. It is a $600 billion-a-year industry that supports child labor and terrorism, and we feel it is our mission is educate consumers so that they think twice before purchasing a fake.

Do you think public understanding of the issues surrounding counterfeiting is changing or is there still much work to do at grass roots to get consumer buy-in and how do you see this happening?

The more this issue is part of the global agenda, the better. At our recent Anticounterfeiting Summit in London, we heard from Christophe Zimmermann of the World Customs Organisation, who said that counterfeiting is the top priority this year for the WCO. This focus will lead to more seizures of counterfeit goods, from handbags to pharmaceuticals to car parts. And the more the public hears about these seizures in the press, the more aware they will become.

Fake Bags at Anticounterfeiting Summit 2007
Fake handbags at The Anticounterfeiting Summit 2007

What has the response been from your readership about this unprecedented initiative by Harper’s Bazaar?

After reading the special reports we publish in the magazine, our readers are absolutely horrified to learn that when they purchase fakes they are supporting things like the train bombings in Madrid – which were proven to have been funded by the sale of counterfeits. We receive hundreds of letters and emails from our readers vowing that they will never buy counterfeit luxury goods again.

What are your plans to expand the campaign?

We have just announced the formation of the Harper’s Bazaar Anticounterfeiting Alliance, dedicated to educating consumers about the global counterfeiting crisis. The Alliance will be comprised of an advisory board of representatives from the magazine, executives from the luxury sector, and key government officials, and will include features in the magazine and a multi-purpose website, FakesAreNeverInFashion.com. We are inviting readers to design Fakes Are Never in Fashion advertisements, and one winning submission will run every month in Harper’s Bazaar. The site will include Webisodes of undercover investigations and seizures, information on how to join “Harper’s Bazaar’s Fashion Police” to anonymously report counterfeit sales operations, information on how to tell a genuine luxury product from a fake, a shopping portal called “The Real Deal,” which will allow readers to shop directly and safely for authentic luxury goods online, a contest offering consumers the chance to trade in their fakes and be entered to win an authentic luxury accessory, and more.

Valerie Salembier with Alan Drewsen
Valerie Salembier with Alan Drewsen

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