Unreal Campaign Challenges You to Join the Fight Against Counterfeits

Published: July 15, 2019

INTA’s newly announced Unreal Challenge seeks to identify at least 100 INTA members by December 31, 2019, to volunteer to educate 2,000 young consumers (ages 14-23) around the world about the dangers of counterfeit goods and the importance of trademarks and brands. The Challenge is in furtherance of the Unreal Campaign, which has already reached nearly 40,000 youths since its launch in 2012.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, the Unreal Campaign presented new opportunities for member engagement. INTA President David Lossignol (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland) issued a challenge to the global INTA community, calling for brand professionals to accept the Unreal Campaign Challenge and become volunteers for the consumer awareness initiative.

To encourage participation in the Challenge, Unreal Campaign volunteers, joined by Mr. Lossignol, visited The English High School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to educate teenagers in the area. The Unreal Campaign delegation was welcomed into Andreina Ferreira’s Business Marketing and Entrepreneurship class, where they educated young entrepreneurs about the value of trademarks and the importance of respecting others’ intellectual property (IP).

Ms. Ferreira expressed excitement about bringing the Unreal Campaign to her classroom, noting that she wanted to “get [her students] to start thinking about their buying morals and social responsibility in terms of business, and learning how this will affect them in the future when they do open their own businesses.” Ms. Ferreira said, “Learning about counterfeiting at such a young age will help stop the cycle and bring more awareness.”

The 45-minute presentation sparked a lively conversation among the students. Many of them had not been aware of the consequences that infringing on IP rights might bring, nor the impact that counterfeit products could have on the health, safety, and the well-being of their communities.

When asked what the most important takeaway from the presentation was, young entrepreneur Ty’saiah Lubin said the Unreal Campaign taught him that “trademarks are very powerful” and that “you can legally sue somebody for copying your ideas.” As a creator himself, Mr. Lubin said, “[Counterfeiting] is disrespectful. If somebody is taking the time out of their day and spending money on a product, it is disrespectful for you to take that away from them and give them a product that is not as powerful as what they think.”

Since the 2019 Annual Meeting, the Unreal Campaign has continued to make strides in achieving the Challenge’s goals, including engaging with new volunteers who are making their first presentations, and coordinating member training sessions.

The Challenge is not just for INTA members, but extends to the entire INTA community-including the Association’s internal departments. In this regard, INTA’s Membership Department recently accepted the Challenge by hosting two student presentations at the Cambria Center for the Gifted Child in Cambria Heights, Queens, New York, USA, where they engaged with more than 60 students.

It is not too late to sign up as an Unreal Campaign Challenge volunteer! Accept the Unreal Campaign Challenge and join us in the fight against counterfeits.

For more information, please contact Unreal Campaign Staff Liaison, Catherine Shen at [email protected].

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2019 International Trademark Association