6th apr, 2008

Is debranding for charity a good idea?

I read a story on Afro-IP about illegal goods – everything from CD-players to bags -  are being debranded and sent to Africa as charity. Is that a good idea?

One view is that the illegal goods would have been “wasted” if destroyed and might as well do some good. Another is that you will have to take the consequences when dealing with pirated goods – ie. Destroying them. Pirated electronics can be dangerous since they probably are sub standard electronics. Having been in Africa recently I know that the market there is already flooded with second rate copies, so will we be damaging their own production of goods by adding even more second rate goods?  The more I think about it the more complex the issue is I think, how about you?


How about a practical approach?

Since de-branding removes the problem of false consumer expectations what is left?

If the destination country has consumer electronics safety standards the products should be validated against those.

Then the costs should be added up. For de-branding (cheap), validation (potentially expensive), transportation (including externalities like CO2)

And the final result should be held up against what the same money could buy.

I think your complete-cost-evaluation model is a good way of doing it, especially the social responsebility part.

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