Sometimes makeup doesn't cover up blemishes. Sometimes a retailer accidently stocks the shelves with batch of counterfeit products, and when that happens, the unfortunate customer who purchases a knock-off could end up dealing with serious health-related consequences, rather than just an easily covered pimple or scar.
Last year brought a hefty haul for the U.S. agencies tasked with finding and seizing counterfeit items before they seep too deeply into product pipelines.
Though protecting brands from criminals and their knock-off goods is quite the job, the groups tasked with finding the counterfeits have been making progress. Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations - two groups tasked with seizing knock-offs, along with the Department of Homeland Security - announced results for the 2014 fiscal year.
China, for some time a paradisiacal haven for counterfeiters and their ill-gotten funds, may be losing its allure as a knock-off utopia as its citizens begin to value product authenticity over affordability.
Last year, China's cabinet, the State Council, announced that it would begin a crackdown on online piracy and fake products.
A licensed product is only as valuable as the brand identity that backs it up.The laws of supply and demand mean that unlicensed use of a brand can severely damage sales. Counterfeits take sales away from legitimate licensed partners and increase supply, reducing the value of a product. Poorly made or dangerous knock offs also diminish a company’s image, lowering demand and further hurting sales and pricing.
We’ve put together a list of the top six ways that companies can protect their brand identity.
A group of guys on the sidewalk yelling out to passersby, a table buckling under the weight of the mountain of handbags towering on top of them - this is the typical image of knock-off products being sold on the streets, but fake handbag sales aren't limited to the streets.
Who uses DVDs anymore? Apparently enough people for counterfeiters to still find selling fake DVDs to be a profitable business.
A federal grand jury recently indicted 10 men on charges of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, as well as similar crimes, after a warehouse and office space used by the defendants were found to have contained thousands of copies of fake DVDs and CDs on March 13.
You've probably seen it before on television or in a movie: The main character is faced with his or her best friend, as well as an evil identical twin, and telling the two apart is proving difficult, if not impossible. You'd hope that the protagonist eventually makes the right choice, but when it comes to one easily counterfeited product, often the opposite is true.
Have you ever bought an SD memory card that just stopped working fairly soon after you bought it?
Some counterfeit toys and products really capture the imagination, like a backpack featuring what must be a cousin of the video game character Sonic, with yellow eyes who shares a first name with Obama, and is, in some way, affiliated with the wizard Harry Potter. However, as ridiculous as they are, they also cut into sales of companies who sell legitimate - and certainly cuter - toys, and can be dangerous to children.
Operation "Super Fake," illegal immigration, a cigar shop front for counterfeit drugs and arsenic make-up - it's the counterfeiting news roundup for February 2015!
January and early February were active times for counterfeiters, and we've collected some of the most telling stories from all around the world. This is just one more way that OpSec keeps you up to date on what's happening in brand protection.
While counterfeiting is a problem all throughout the year, there are certain events that present a particular risk. Major sporting events like the Super Bowl routinely attract a lot of spending on tickets and merchandise, and wherever there is a lot of consumer spending, the counterfeiters aren't far behind.
In anticipation of the Super Bowl, we'll be taking an in-depth look at the counterfeiting that surrounds it and the extensive brand protection activities that help to protect the league, the teams and most importantly, the fans.