The Role of Counterfeiting on Digital Media
E-bay, Etsy, Facebook, Pinterest and Alibaba have all been victims of counterfeiters in the past few years. With each passing day, it has gotten more difficult to fight off these counterfeiters but these digital media channels are refusing to give up so easily. Not only are these large corporations the victims, the end users also fall prey to these counterfeit products because of the trust relationship they have with these corporations. There have been a few news articles highlighting the effect of counterfeiting on some of these huge media channels as seen below;
- Alibaba spent $160 million fighting fake goods
- Facebook fake ads
- Etsy stock tanks on fear of counterfeit goods
The potential risks of counterfeiters attacking digital media channels are numerous. These large corporations are constantly seeking out creative solutions to combat this problem as it is becoming detrimental to their business. Some of the risks that these companies face include;
- Additional resource allocation to combat counterfeiters
- More funds spent to support the resource allocation
- Reputation damage
- Stock prices for each channel dropping
- Additional legal resources required to sue the criminals
- Decline in trust from the end-users
How can these large corporations combat counterfeiting?
For a company that is in control of the products, supply chain, distribution channels and retailers, counterfeiting is easier to combat. However, for a corporation that is not able to monitor every single activity of it’s users, details get tricky. It is not impossible to do but it is very time and resource consuming to. However time consuming, it is a necessary step that must be taken in today’s online world to combat counterfeiting. Some action items a corporation can consider implementing are;
Define the problem – This is a very important step many companies eliminate from their process. It is important to identify the gravity of the issue at hand and the extent of the damage before recommending probable solutions.
Build an anti-counterfeiting team – Whether your team is built internally or externally, it is important to have one. Companies would efficiently solve this issue if they outsource the help initially while training an internal team to be better equipped.
Identify the list of perpetrators – There would be popular websites that counterfeiters use to sell their goods and it is important to identify those links and prevent access to those websites. Pinterest already does a great job of protecting their users by preventing access to those websites.
Block Access – After the list of perpetrators have been identified, prevent your end users from accessing those websites and also report those sites to the appropriate governing bodies. For example, the StopFraud.gov website is a great tool to use.
Communicate – It is important to communicate to your strategic partners and end users what the situation is at hand. For strategic partner relationships, especially with other companies that sell goods through your website, you can recommend some anti-counterfeiting solutions to them. Depending on the products they have, Sproxil and a host of other solutions may be ideal for your partners. For your end users, draft up posts that notify them or emails stating the work you are doing to combat counterfeiting on your website. Inform them of steps they should also take to protect themselves.
Finally, keep up with the trends and discussions on how other large corporations are fighting anti-counterfeiting. If your company whether large or small is facing a counterfeiting problem, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our consultants and we can discuss the best solution for your corporation.