New French Anti-Counterfeit Campaign Reminds Tourists That Knockoffs Could Get You Three Years in Jail

Thinking of buying a Chanel-branded cell phone while vacationing in Paris this summer? (You totally were, right?) Well don't, because you could go to jail for three years, as these clever new anti-counterfeit ads introduced today by French luxury goods association Comité Colbert make plain.
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Thinking of buying a Chanel-branded cell phone while vacationing in Paris this summer? (You totally were, right?) Well don't, because you could go to jail for three years, as these clever new anti-counterfeit ads introduced today by French luxury goods association Comité Colbert make plain.
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Thinking of buying a Chanel-branded cell phone while vacationing in Paris this summer? (You totally were, right?) Well don't, because you could go to jail for three years, as these clever new anti-counterfeit ads introduced today by French luxury goods association Comité Colbert make plain.

According to WWD, the campaign features seven visuals created by Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Lacoste, Longchamp, Louis Vuitton and Van Cleef & Arpels. Each visual is accompanied with a cheeky slogan like "Buy a fake Cartier, get a genuine criminal record," and "Real ladies don't like fake!"

10,000 of the posters will be displayed in France's 18 airports this summer to raise awareness of the issue among tourists and help curb counterfeit sales, which the French National Anti-Counterfeiting Committee (CNAC) says costs France 6 billion euros, or $7.5 billion at current exchange, in lost revenue every year.

That's not all: According to a press release on Comité Colbert's site, eight out of 10 European businesses are negatively impacted by counterfeiting while half of European citizens believe that counterfeiting discourages businesses from developing new products and putting them on the market. Yikes. Whoever knew that fake Dior you were wielding could come at such a cost!

And if caught at customs with a fake, the cost really gets steep: Yep, you really can be sentenced for up to three years in jail, or get slapped with € 300,000 fine.

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The new campaign is not the only way the Comité Colbert is attacking the counterfeit market in France. The committee has signed a charter of good conduct with the French postal service and several shipping companies to fight against counterfeit goods on the Internet. However committee president Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes said they're still waiting for banks and payment service providers to comply.

In the meantime, they'll just have to settle for scaring tourists straight with these new tongue-in-cheek ads.