Today, the American Apparel & Footwear Association released a new report on the role a small, but fast-growing group of social media influencers play in the spread of counterfeit products. The report provides a detailed account of the alarming behavior by “dupe influencers” who collectively generate millions of views, likes, and shares of content that directly facilitate the sale and distribution of illegal counterfeit goods.
The report also dives into dupe influencer tactics and explains how dupe influencers put their followers in harm’s way by exposing them to potentially unsafe products and to cybercriminals.
Titled “Dupe Influencers: The Concerning Trend of Promoting Counterfeit Apparel, Footwear, and Accessories on Social Media,” the report is designed to educate influencers, consumers, online platforms, and brands on this growing trend.
The report’s recommendations to combat dupe influencer content on social media include:
- Platforms must continue to clean up their sites;
- Platforms should block #designerdupes and related hashtags;
- Platforms must terminate the accounts of dupe influencers who repeatedly promote counterfeits;.
- Dupe influencers need to improve their product disclaimers; and
- Consumers need more information about the reach of counterfeits.
“Counterfeits not only hurt American business, but also hurt the consumers and workers involved in the product’s lifecycle – whether that’s through a product that does not meet safety standards, was not made following labor requirements, or that financially supports organized crime,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “This report is designed to inform these stakeholders on the current ‘dupe culture’ and provide recommendations to ensure that only legitimate products are being sold online.”
The report is the result of the work of the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s Brand Protection Council and can be downloaded at aafaglobal.org/DupeInfluencers.