Do Croats Like to Buy Knock Off Products?

Lauren Simmonds


June the 13th, 2023 – We all love a bargain, and we’ve all been guilty of wearing “Amidas” instead of “Adidas” in our time I’m sure, but do Croats often buy knock off gear and engage in piracy?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, the vast majority of Europeans, 80% of them to be precise, believe that criminal organisations are behind counterfeit products, as well as that buying counterfeits destroys companies and jobs.

Does that have any effect on what Croats purchase?

Despite the bad perception and the fact that 83% of people in Europe equate such purchases with unethical behaviour, a third of us still find it acceptable to buy fake goods. We’ll definitely be inclined to buy knock offs when the price of the original is deemed to be too high. With young people, the situation is even worse, and even half of them consider it acceptable to buy fakes. This was shown by the latest study on the perception of intellectual property among citizens published by the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

How much do Croats love saving cash on fakes?

That same study shows that 13% of “adult” Europeans have deliberately bought counterfeit products in the last year, and as many as 26% of them are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. The popularity of counterfeits, however, varies greatly by age. Logically, they’re more popular among younger generations. Thus, only 6% of EU residents aged between 55 and 64 will buy a counterfeit product, and less than 5% of those aged 65 or older will do the same.

There are disparities across the EU

The popularity of counterfeits varies greatly between countries, the EUIPO study shows. In Bulgaria, as many as 24% of consumers bought a counterfeit on purpose, and in Finland, a mere 8% have made the same purchase.

Interestingly, Croats are “second best” after Finland because only 9% of them stated that they bought a counterfeit item in the last year. Spain also deviates from the EU average, where the share of those who intentionally bought a “fake” stands at 20%. Ireland and Luxembourg follow with 19% and Romania with 18%. The most common reason why Croats, as well as other Europeans, will not buy a counterfeit is fear for safety and health reasons.

O top of that, the largest number of citizens (43%) would stop buying counterfeits, the study shows, if the real, original products were cheaper.

Some fakes are convincing…

The large differences within the EU and very high percentages, in some countries, regarding the recognition of original products are also interesting. So, for example, in Romania, 72% of consumers were not sure if what they bought was original at all. Here at home in Croatia, 46% of consumers don’t even know how to recognise the original, while the EU average stands at 39%.

The attitudes and actions of Europeans towards counterfeit products are also reflected in the use of pirated content. As such, 80% of those surveyed declare that they prefer to use legal sources to access Internet content, but only if an affordable option is available. At the same time, 65% consider piracy acceptable if the content isn’t available within their subscription. Thus, 14% of Europeans, over the last year, deliberately accessed content from illegal sources, and less than half of Europeans (43%) paid to access, download or stream content protected by copyright from a legal source.

Croats are a little worse in this regard

In this particular category, Croats rank a little worse than the European average, and 16% of citizens decided on piracy over the last year. As with counterfeit items, a considerable number of citizens, even 41% of them, are not sure whether the source they accessed was legitimate or not.

Christian Archambeau is the executive director of EUIPO, and in his comments on the results of this year’s survey in which more than 25 thousand citizens participated, he pointed out that understanding their perception helps in creating the EUIPO’s awareness-raising and information activities.

A big jog ahead

”All of this data shows that the national and European institutions have a huge job ahead of them, because counterfeiting and piracy cause enormous damage, amounting to 83 billion euros per year, and cause the loss of as many as 670,000 jobs. In addition, countries end up left without 15 billion euros in taxes,” explained Julio Laporta, spokesman and communications director of the EUIPO.


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