CDR International specialises in advising major companies on brand
Its services include protecting companies against counterfeiting, patent
infringements, product tampering and extortion. It also helps companies
to identify unethical supplier behaviour, such as using child
Although counterfeiting alone is estimated to cost British industry some
pounds 2 billion in lost sales per annum, the challenge facing CDR was
to try to raise awareness of the need for someone to take responsibility
for brand protection in these major companies.
Findlay-Wilson PR had the task of bringing the issue to the attention of
CEOs and marketing directors without alienating the intellectual
property lawyers who already work in this area.
To raise awareness of brand protection among CEOs and marketing
To position CDR as the industry experts on brand protection and its
To create an environment for debate on the issue of brand protection,
and to ensure that it would be taken seriously, Findlay-Wilson came up
with the idea of preparing a report which would focus on all the
concerned parties - consumers, marketers, IP lawyers and City
Findlay-Wilson designed a questionnaire and organised the research.
First 300 consumers were asked questions about their attitudes to major
brands such as Nike, counterfeit goods and attitudes to ethical issues,
and they were tested on brand recognition.
Then a group of 50 City analysts were quizzed about how brand issues
affect share prices and how important brand protection is in creating
confidence in a company’s management. Fifty IP lawyers were also
They were asked how they see their role in protecting brands and which
methods are used. Marketers were asked similar questions about whose
responsibility brand protection is and what precautions are taken.
The results of the research, were compiled into a brief report which
clearly highlighted what CDR already knew - that consumers are easily
fooled by fake goods and company names, but that they value the
reputation of a brand; that marketers see brand protection as a legal
issue but that the lawyers’ current role is primarily defensive and much
of their time is spent handling disputes brought against brand owners
rather than prosecuting threats to brands.
Findlay-Wilson launched the report to the media. Instead of releasing
the report to everyone, it was decided the best way to achieve the
campaign objectives would be to offer certain media exclusives on the
different aspects of the report which were relevant to particular
Finally, a week after the media launch, the report was mailed out to all
CDR prospects and to the corporate research participants who requested a
copy of the findings.
Not only was the media coverage broad in terms of numbers, the coverage
was extremely well targeted - for example a feature in the Financial
Times focused on the threat of counterfeiting to share prices, while
extensive coverage in Marketing Week highlighted the fact that consumers
were duped by counterfeit products.
The story was also featured in the Times, the Today programme, Radio 4
and In-House Lawyer magazine.
Since the report was mailed to around 70 marketing directors, CDR
International has set up meetings with several top brand owners and
Taking an important issue, backing it up with interesting research which
was designed to appeal to a variety of sectors made this a well
The finely targeted media relations resulted in in-depth relevant
coverage of an issue that costs industry billions of pounds each year in
Client: CDR International
PR Team: Findlay-Wilson PR
Campaign: Putting brand security on the agenda
Timescale: Jan to May 1998