Industry poll finds hologram market “holding up” in face of COVID-19
12 August 2020
THE INTERNATIONAL market for holography continues to hold-up despite the impact of COVID-19, with strong confidence that trading will soon return to normal levels. That’s the key finding of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association’s (IHMA) latest study.
A poll of the organisation’s members has revealed that almost 50% of respondents had seen an increase in demand from customers, specifiers and end users for holographic devices and technologies during the height of the pandemic.
Some reported that they had seen particularly strong interest from West Africa and other emerging markets, where central Governments and law enforcement agencies have been investing in security ID and banknote programmes among other paper-based applications.
Hologram manufacturers, converters and suppliers also reported that some of their own customers had increased concerns about the impact of counterfeiting on e-commerce supply chains in the teeth of the pandemic as it continues to sweep the globe.
This confirms the IHMA’s own concerns about e-commerce-based businesses being ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous counterfeiters looking to trade in falsified goods during these difficult times. Counterfeit goods sold online can threaten consumer lives as well as damage corporate reputations and investment in companies and their products.
The IHMA says brand owners and product manufacturers should continue to be proactive in tackling the threats, stepping up their plans for investment in advanced authentication and verification technologies to protect brands, profits and reputations.
Front line weapon
IHMA chair Dr Paul Dunn stated: “This is important information from members and reflects the continuing value of holography for international industry and commerce as a front line weapon in the fight against counterfeiting and illicit trade. Criminals are infiltrating global supply channels, deploying scams and counterfeiting measures to trick consumers and damage manufacturers during these difficult times. Furthermore, items such as falsified medicines and drugs pose a terrible threat and can endanger lives.”
Dunn added: “Holograms can be effective in the front line fight against counterfeiters and fraudsters, protecting brands and profits. Those involved in the supply chain are reassured by their presence on products, recognising the security and financial benefits provided.”
The use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated by ISO 12931, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from fake products coming from counterfeiting ‘hot spots’ in Asia and eastern Europe.
Even those that carry a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.