CAMPAIGNS: Knowing when it’s the real thing - Research

CDR International specialises in advising major companies on brand protection.

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

associated issues.


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

leading lawyers.


Taking an important issue, backing it up with interesting research which

was designed to appeal to a variety of sectors made this a well

constructed campaign.

The finely targeted media relations resulted in in-depth relevant

coverage of an issue that costs industry billions of pounds each year in

lost revenue.

Client: CDR International

PR Team: Findlay-Wilson PR

Campaign: Putting brand security on the agenda

Timescale: Jan to May 1998

Budget: Undisclosed

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