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Trick or Treat? An Examination of Marketing Relationships in a Non-deceptive Counterfeit Market

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  • Sarah Xiao

    ()
    (Durham Business School)

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    Abstract

    Counterfeit goods consumption has predominantly been viewed as an economic, cultural, ethical/moral, legal and/or information-management issue. Strategies based on these perspectives have taken steps to curb counterfeiting (or "piracy") worldwide. However, counterfeit purchasing continues to be increasingly rampant in some territories and at times is almost regarded as a "normal" act of consumption. This paper presents an exploratory behavioural analysis of counterfeit marketing firms in China, and the interdependent relationships between the legitimate marketing firms, counterfeit retailers and buyers who populate the competitive marketplaces within which consumers consume. The results indicate that counterfeit marketing firms, as "bad competitors", approach marketing mix variables to promote their unique selling proposition and compete with other retailers much like any other form of organisation. At the same time, these counterfeit marketing firms act as though consumer behaviour were also environmentally controlled, just like their genuine counter- parts. The study also reveals a complex bilateral contingency network of interdependent relationships operating within the counterfeiting marketplace – networks that appear amenable to explanation in operant terms. A generic model deduced from this complex bilateral contingency networks was also proposed. Based on this perspective, the author argued that counterfeit consumption is an artifact phenomenon of marketing relationships in a non-deceptive counterfeit market.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Durham University Business School in its series Working Papers with number 2007_04.

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    Date of creation: 20 Mar 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:dur:durham:2007_04

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    Postal: Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham DH1 3LB, England
    Phone: +44 (0)191 334 5200
    Fax: +44 (0)191 334 5201
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    Web page: http://www.dur.ac.uk/business
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    Related research

    Keywords: Counterfeit retailer; marketing relationships; bilateral contingency; business network; competitive environment; the marketing firm;

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    1. Chow, Daniel C. K., 2003. "Organized crime, local protectionism, and the trade in counterfeit goods in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 473-484.
    2. Jen-Te Yao, 2005. "Counterfeiting and an Optimal Monitoring Policy," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 95-114, January.
    3. Foxall, Gordon R., 1999. "The marketing firm," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 207-234, April.
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