Sportswear multinationals Nike and Reebok are launching a fierce campaign against fake clothing in Mexico that is currently depriving them of around 35 per cent of total market sales, South American Business Information reported.

The companies plan to open up Mexican production lines and aim to sell directly rather than through intermediaries. The companies hope say these moves will lead to 40 per cent price cuts (thanks to a removal of the 35 per cent customs duty on imports) as a beneficial side-effect for the consumer.

The directors of Reebok and Nike's Mexican divisions acknowledged that legislation dating back to mid-1999 has helped, but said that much remains to be done. The sports shoe market and the shoe market in general has shrunk since 1997 when sales totalled 180 million pairs annually (40 million sports shoes). Both companies have plants in Guanajuato.