This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
| 1 minute read

The impact of social media influencers on counterfeit purchasing decisions

A second study by the UKIPO shows that 24% of males in the UK aged between 16 and 60 are prompted to purchase counterfeit products as a result of endorsements by social media influencers. This is more than double the number of female consumers in the same age range that would purchase a counterfeit product if endorsed by an influencer (10%). 

In total, 35% of males in this age range are knowing purchasers of counterfeit products, the majority of which (60%) are aged between 16 and 33. Again, this is twice the number of female participants who had intentionally purchased a counterfeit product in the equivalent UKIPO study in 2021

SM influencers are key catalysts in creating the intention to buy counterfeits amongst the responder consumers. 

It is well-known that social media influencers can have a significant impact on consumer purchasing behaviour in general and numerous studies have shown the significant volume of consumers that would be more likely to buy a product, or from a brand, that was endorsed or advertised by an influencer. The Social Shepherd estimates that around 69% of consumers trust product recommendations from influencers, and 4 out of 10 consumers will purchase a product as a result of an influencer recommendation. 

Whilst some unwittingly endorse fake products, there are influencers who intentionally promote counterfeits on social media and companies such as Amazon, Cartier and Nike have gone as far as filing lawsuits against influencers allegedly involved in the intentional advertisement of fake products on social media to try to deal with this issue. 

The UKIPO study makes some recommendations such as consumer education about what a counterfeit product is (there is some confusion around the meaning of “counterfeit” when consumers are also faced with “dupes” online) and raising awareness of the risks of counterfeits both to consumers themselves and wider society. There are some content creators trying to engage consumers on the topic of counterfeits (Luxe Collective in particular springs to mind) but the UKIPO's research shows that the impact of influencers on counterfeit purchasing decisions cannot be underestimated. 

Influencers are regarded as trusted opinion leaders in their online communities, so their views matter to followers. Rights holders leverage this trust by offering products to influencers who can help promote them. However, some complicit influencers promote the illicit wares whilst reassuring potentially susceptible followers that buying counterfeits is both rational and acceptable.


anti-counterfeiting, brands & trade marks, fashion & retail, yes