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December 23
Unreal Campaign: French International School of Hong Kong

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On November 21, I (Thierry Dubois, Managing Director Asia Pacific of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH and a member of one of INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Committee) was invited to present INTA’s Unreal Campaign in a private school in Hong Kong. The French International School (“FIS”) welcomed the campaign from the time the idea was first proposed. Because I had been a student at FIS from kindergarten all the way to the French Baccalaureat, the school was suggested as the venue for the Unreal Campaign event in Hong Kong.

The Unreal Campaign presentation took place in an FIS classroom. Twenty-five teenagers attended, all from the thirteenth grade, which is the last year of school before they graduate to the International Baccalaureat (IB). The teenagers present were all from the International Section of the school, where lessons are given in English during the PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Education Class. It is a central part of the school’s welfare program and is, in the students’ senior year, linked to the FIS Personal Profile, the IB Learner Profile, and the IB's Approaches to Learning Skills. 

After a brief introduction of the speaker, we delved into Unreal PowerPoint presentation, which really caught the attention of the teens. Perhaps they were particularly focused because counterfeiting is a problem that is often seen in Asia. They could therefore easily relate to the subject at the core of the Unreal Campaign.

HongKongBlog_Unreal_121916_v2.jpgI also presented some slides containing photos that had been taken during raids my company and I had undertaken earlier this year against assemblers and manufacturers in China. The images illustrate the poor working conditions in counterfeiting factories: the bad lighting, the dreadful ventilation, and the filth and disarray of the facilities. The images show teenagers (or sometimes children) employed in these factories that manufacture fake products and in the shops that sell them.

I also included some press clippings that discussed fake pet food, fake car parts, fake cosmetics, fake infant formula milk, and fake medicine—real, but dramatic cases that “plucked the heart strings” of the teens participating.

As I showed the photographs and articles, we invited the audience of teenagers to comment on what they were seeing.

I strongly believe in a philosophy of authenticity in life, and shared it with the class. I learned from teachers that the teenagers took this philosophy on board and even repeated it in discussions a few days later in class. They now understand that buying a fake is an act that reflects a state of mind. If one can accept a fake watch, then one should also be able to accept fake medicine. If you are not willing to accept fake medicine, then the correct attitude is to say “no” to all fakes, whatever they are!

If you are interested in organizing an Unreal event in your region, please contact Laura Heery at lheery@inta.org. Thank you to the Unreal Campaign 2016 Sposnors, Tilleke & Gibbins. Without thier support, these outreach events would not be possible. Learn more about the sponsorship oppurtunities here
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