Saturday, October 29, 2005

Branditi Italiani

Selling brand knockoffs is so epidemic, Bob and Edith Fusillo saw warnings throughout Venice, during their most recent visit this past month. Along with attending La Biennale, they sent along these notes.

“These are not exactly ads, perhaps, but they are blanketing Venice. The guys – always twelve feet tall and very black – are all over Europe, selling knockoff handbags. (A recent best selling detective story was devoted to them).

“They are particularly noticeable in Venice because the streets are so narrow that one trips over them – they are legion. The town has newly passed a law that fines tourists for buying them – as much as 30,000 Euro. I did not, unhappily, photograph the free-standing signs, about seven feet tall, that are all about town, with the same design and message as on the enclosed.

“And we have seen several of the illegal sellers spread their sheets and handbags in front of the signs.”

This isn’t just about counterfeiting world-class brands. It’s about child labor and illegals. The Bad Bag campaign is about crime: legal, ethical, and moral.

Every tourist who buys a fake Versace purse or Gucci wallet from one of these “branditi” supports the exploitation of children and illegal immigrants. Sia cura che cosa comprate!

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