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Fortune Business Insights report serves as “anti-counterfeiting wake-up call”

09 July 2020

THE LATEST report issued by Fortune Business Insights highlights the “huge” threat of e-commerce counterfeiting during the Coronavirus crisis, in turn driving demand for more investment in security devices. That’s the view of global trade body the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).

According to the IHMA, the report confirms widely-held concerns about e-commerce-based business being ripe for exploitation during the pandemic by unscrupulous counterfeiters looking to trade in fake goods.

Research has indicated that counterfeit goods sold online can threaten lives as well as damage corporate reputations and investment in both companies and their products.

The IHMA, whose members supply authentication and security holographic technologies to markets around the world, believes that the Fortune Business Insights report’s findings must act as a wake-up call to consumer goods manufacturers to step up the implementation of anti-counterfeiting measures in order to protect brands as part of their investment in packaging strategies orchestrated alongside e-commerce platforms.

The news comes as a study by a community media platform revealed that 20% of products sold on e-commerce platforms are counterfeit.

Of late, Europol and the European Intellectual Property Office have issued warnings about counterfeit goods while the World Health Organisation has raised concerns over the sale of fake medicines linked to the Coronavirus in developing countries within Africa as well as other parts of the world. It would seem that criminals are exploiting gaps in the market.

In the USA, almost 70% of consumers have expressed worries about COVID-19 driving online sales in counterfeit or sub-standard quality products.

Advice for brand owners

The IHMA advises brand owners and product manufacturers to be more proactive in tackling the threats posed by the criminals and ramp up their plans for investment in advanced authentication and verification technologies to protect brands, profits and reputation.

IHMA chair Dr Paul Dunn said: “Criminals are infiltrating global supply channels. They’re deploying sophisticated online scams and counterfeiting measures to trick consumers and damage manufacturers during these difficult times. Furthermore, fake medicines and drugs can pose a real risk to people’s Health and Safety and endanger lives.”

Dunn added: “Holograms can be so effective in the front line fight against counterfeiters and fraudsters, protecting brands and profits alike. Those involved in the supply chain are reassured by holograms’ presence on products and recognise 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.