Rawalpindi – The look-alikes, duplicates and spell-alikes remain on the same shelf as genuine products in Rawalpindi shops. It is dangerous for your health and widespread.
“In the main markets, the absence of original branded products is seventy-five percent. An audit of retail could show that there are fifty-four copies of authentic items for every 100 strips. Many health items have about twenty-five clones,” says Abida Hussain.
“There are three kinds of fakes. The fakes look like a brand’s brand, but have a different brand name. The spell-alikes are biscuits that have a Mince for Prince and similar packaging. The third variety is duplicates bearing the name and address of the genuine company, but the product inside is fake,” adds Abida.
“Local investors manufacture most look-alikes. Many local investors own their own manufacturing units, which operate on a smaller scale just like an established manufacturer. They even have appointed distributors to make the product available in the market,” says Irfan Jafary.
“The look-alike manufacturers’ strategy is to take undue credit on the advertising campaign of the larger player and establish their own brand. The manufacturers have no qualms about displaying their manufacturing units’ names and addresses on the product wrapper. They price their products lower than what established companies offer with margins offered to wholesalers and retailers,” says Nemat Ali.
“Spell-alikes generally have the genuine products’ rate printed on them, but the retailer brings down the price after a bit of bargaining. Most spell-alikes have an extremely vague manufacturer’s address on the packaging that is impossible to trace,” says Fawad Hasan.
“Duplicates have the established manufacturer’s address, as the packaging is bought from the raddiwalla and filled with a fake product. Distributors appointed by genuine companies stick to the closest areas, while distributors who stock counterfeit products service tiny shops on cycles or bikes,” says Batool. “Duplicate products filled into genuine packaging are also available in an adaptable manner depending on when the raddiwalla makes accessible a large number of used packets of the same product,” adds Batool.
“In particular seasons the manufacturing of fake products rises and reaches the retailers much before the genuine brand can. In summer fakes are abundant in cold drinks and powdered talcum powder. However, in winter, it’s cold cream and Vaseline. At bus stands and railway stations where consumers are in a hurry, spurious cold drinks are rampant,” says Anmol Fatima.
“In the poor areas where fake products boom, the consumers’ low purchasing power makes sachets acceptable. This is particularly so in sachets of shampoo, hair oils, detergents, and so on,” says Abbas Rizvi. Rizwan Haider says, “More challenges lie ahead in other kinds of products such as branded garment industry, book publishing, music industry, movies, and information technology.”