David Franklin, general manager of brand protection solutions at NetNames, comments on the need to protect brands online in light of this week’s iPhone 5 launch:
“On Wednesday evening, Apple launched its long-awaited iPhone 5. However, it was not only the technophiles who were pawing over every detail of the announcement; counterfeiters across the world were instantly getting to work on copying every aspect of the new product. In fact, within hours there were 11 different copies of the phone for sale online for as little as $15, highlighting the magnitude of the fakes industry and the very scale of this threat.
Counterfeit products not only divert revenue, particularly in huge growth markets where replica goods are rife, but can also damage the value of the brand behind the product.
The real issues
For brand owners to help protect against this growing threat, it’s important to raise awareness about the real issues associated with counterfeit products. For example, the dangers of defective counterfeits and highlighting that the revenues from sales of counterfeit products often support organised crime, fund terrorist groups and other unsavoury activities.
Secondly, brand owners should actively monitor and act against those selling fake products online. Online auction sites are the simplest way to showcase counterfeit goods in front of potential customers and by working with specialist brand protection companies, organisations can work directly with the site owners to identify exactly where counterfeit products are being offered for sale and take the necessary action to removing the goods.