I am active on professional social media and I focus on groups and organizations involved with authentication technologies, anti-counterfeiting, diversion, anti-piracy, customer engagement, licensing, trademark protection, and supply chain management − the big umbrella of Brand Protection. Over the past couple of years, I’ve read statements from inside and outside of the brand protection industry that question and sometimes disparage the usefulness of overt technologies or Optical Variable Devices (OVD). Some have labeled overt solutions as a “DEAD” technology. The death of overt technology has been greatly exaggerated!
In late June, New York State (U.S.) gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, criticized America’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency for the manner in which they were handling immigration on the U.S.’s southern border. She went as far as labeling the agency a “terrorist organization” and called for its abolishment.
I’m not here to debate whether or not Ms. Nixon makes a valid point. I’m not even here to debate U.S. immigration policy. But I do want to highlight that ICE does a lot more than enforce immigration law… and for that, we should be thankful.
Before you take a sip from that glass of water, you may want to consider where it came from. The sale of counterfeit water filters is becoming a huge industry problem. Unfortunately, many consumers searching for bargains on OEM water filters may inadvertently find themselves buying counterfeits that can not only damage their refrigerator, possibly voiding out the warranty, but also severely put their health at risk.
As holiday shoppers increasingly move to the internet for purchasing gifts, it’s not surprising that this year’s Cyber Monday surpassed 2016 by 16.8% in total sales (according to Adobe Digital Insights). Cyber Monday 2017 marked the largest U.S. online sales day in history, at $6.59 billion in sales.
In early September the Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC) held their 16th International Conference which focuses on Fraud and Counterfeiting in the Imaging Supplies Industry. This year's theme was "An Industry in Transition" and unlike previous years the internet and the rapid growth of counterfeiting was front and center. Topics that were covered included “What is the Dark Web”, “Brand Protection on the Dark Web, “Brand Protection on Social Media” and a panel discussion that focused on Online Brand Protection and Enforcement.
There’s been plenty of outrage recently over the unexplained rise in cost of Mylan’s EpiPen injector. Just last week Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch, attempted to defend in Congress the drug’s nearly 600% price increase over the past ten years. This price surge has left many people with life-threatening allergies that depend on this medicine to search for other alternatives such as generic versions, coupon offers, or discounted online sales.
Drug pricing is one of the main reasons consumers head to online pharmacies in search of cheaper options. By the same token, the price of authentic medicines is what drives counterfeiters to manufacture fake, substandard product and offer it for sale virtually anonymously online.
August has arrived and for those of us with children, this month represents an end to the summer and the start of a new school year. Soon kids will be swapping out their swimsuits and flip-flops for backpacks and tennis shoes. With back-to-school ads flooding our inboxes and pop-up ads on social media sites, it is no surprise that counterfeiters are utilizing these sites to lure consumers into buying fake products online. A survey by the National Retail Foundation expects over $75 billion to be spent on back-to-school items this year.