LOS ANGELES: An influential IT trade group has chosen Irvine, CA-based Lages & Associates to help with a new PR effort aimed at raising awareness about counterfeit computer hardware.
The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement, which includes members such as 3Com, Cisco, and HP, was founded in 2001 to combat the sale of counterfeit and unauthorized IT hardware, a growing industry problem. Unscrupulous dealers are increasingly creating not only fake computer goods, but selling used components as new.
"One of the most important things we can do as a trade alliance is raise awareness of the issues of counterfeiting and gray market," said AGMA secretary Marla Briscoe, who is also on HP's brand protection team. "We want to make sure that people understand that there are suspect resellers out there that are selling products that may not be legitimate."
Lages is charged predominately with media relations, aimed at reaching key audiences such as other IT manufacturers that are not part of AGMA, law enforcement audiences unaware of the issue, and consumer audiences. Briscoe added that messages were also targeted at counterfeiters themselves, "to let them know that we know they are out there, and that we understand the different methods of fraud."