Levi runs public thank you in ad against piracy

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MEXICO CITY -- Levi Strauss de Mexico placed ads in major Mexican newspapers thanking the Federal Attorney General's (PGR) office for a recent seizure of counterfeit labels.

Levi Strauss praised the operation as the big- gest seizure of false labels to date, citing a figure of 1,098,000 labels.

``This type of action on the part of the author- ities contributes to attack this serious problem of piracy, which hurts the national economy by stopping the growth of legitimate investment and the creation of new jobs,'' Levi's ad stated.

Although PGR has been more actively publicizing its anti-piracy efforts of late, it has not is- sued a statement regarding this seizure, which a Levi's spokesman maintained was a separate op- eration from one made public May 11. PGR officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

According to a May 11 PGR press release, investi- gators raided an illicit factory in Mexico City that week, following a complaint filed by clothing manufacturers Nike International, Levi Strauss & Co., Calvin Klein, Guess, Pepe U.K. and Tommy Hilfinger.

PGR said it seized a total of 200,000 labels, five label printers, two vulcanizing machines and two cutting machines.

Piracy is a major concern of legitimate pro- ducers of goods in the clothing, video, music and software industries. The Mexican government has pledged to step up enforcement efforts.

In a related action, Gap took out an ad to warn consumers about pirated or contraband goods.

Gap announced in the people section of Refor- ma, a major Mexico City daily newspaper, that the company ``extra blue'' is the only authorized distributor of Gap products.

While a stroll through any of the capital's major markets will reveal stands selling pi- rated Gap clothing, only four stores in Mexico City carry legitimate goods.

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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