February 20, 2007

Prada - Is it for real?

I am reading my book on Consumer Law and the chapter on Advertising really grabbed my attention. It is a fairly short chapter, only 4 pages. It primarily discusses deceptive advertising, bait and switch, window displays, etc. Most consumers are aware of these types of deceptive advertising practices, as they can get a lot of publicity when discovered.

Many of the examples in the chapter focused on fashion and accessories. The most typical example would be buying a Prada bag for only $10 on a street corner from a huckster. There would be no doubt that bag was not truly Prada. Not only is such a product a violaton of trademark, but false advertising, unfair competition, and most likely theft.

Surely, there are plenty of examples of fraudulent advertising practices from other industries. I am not sure why the fashion business has such a bad reputation in this area. Those in the business know where to go in New York or Los Angeles to get that Prada bag or Oakley sun glasses, or whatever the current hot trend is. One friend said, "What does it matter as long as people think you really DO have a Prada bag!" There are a lot of dishonest people out there ready to take advantage of someone.

I wish there was a way to clean-up this practice. There are a lot of good, honest designers out there trying to build a reputable brand.

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