“Amazon has failed to remove enough fake reviews”, cautions watchdog

According to an international watchdog, “International retail giant Amazon is removing a large amount of fake and suspicious reviews that dupe the consumers into buying cheap grade products.”

The watchdog discovered that Amazon had removed 78,0000 reviews for technology products over the last three years. However, it said the number was not enough to address the problem.

The watchdog found that around 12,000 reviews for the headphones category were from an unverified purchaser and had suspicious high five-star ratings. The watchdog also found out that ‘tens of thousands’ of fake reviews on around 20 products.

In the month of March, the number of unverified reviews on Amazon rose by nearly 300% as compared to previous months with average star ratings of unverified reviews at 4.95 out of five. The watchdog has warned that the rising numbers of unverified positive product reviews could indicate that the product’s overall rating is being manipulated by fake reviews.

As per an estimate by Competition and Markets Authority £23 billion of annual consumer spending is influenced by online reviews and has warned that fake reviews could lead to criminal action.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Holographic shrink sleeves: The 360 degree packaging solution

Without packaging, the product and the brand cannot sustain in the market. A robust packaging not only protects the product from any kind of physical damage but also add a visual appeal which makes it saleable.

Today, almost all the products in the market come in packaged form, leaving aside the ones which are usually sold loose. Different kinds of packaging solutions are required for different kinds of products. Among the many packaging products and solutions shrink sleeves have become an ideal choice for packaging products in industries like beverages, food, dairy, paint, cosmetics, detergents etc. Holostik is a pioneer in providing state-of-the-art customised holographic shrink sleeves to different industries.

As their name suggests, shrink sleeve shrink down or conform tightly according to the shape of the container or the bottle thus serving the purpose of a sleeve label and packaging product. Holographic shrink sleeves have holographic properties which make them highly secure against any kind of counterfeiting, adulteration and tampering.

One of the biggest advantages of shrink sleeves is that they offer 360-degree branding and offer comprehensive visibility to the product. This kind of exposure is not possible in other forms of packaging products like labels. The most difficult tasks for product packagers is to apply labelling on bottles with odd shapes. This is where shrink sleeves conform tightly to the shape of the container and adhere according to any kind of shapes. If the design is planned well, the shrink sleeves can add life to the product making it stand out from the rest.

The benefits of Holostik’s inventory management system

Inventory management is the management of stock and inventory. It is an important part of supply chain management and includes different aspects such as controlling and supervising inventory, storage of inventory and controlling the amount of product for sale.

Inventory management is important for the success of a company. It helps the organization to effectively manage its cash flows, monitor its production, manage its raw materials and assess the quantity of the end product to be supplied for the end-consumer.

Today, Holostik is not just known as a leader in providing cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting solutions but is also known for providing IT-enabled supply chain management solutions. Among a long list of IT-enabled solutions, Holostik caters customised and robust inventory management solutions. Before providing the inventory management solution to its client Holostik deeply researches and studies different aspects of the client’s supply chain. Only after many rounds of brainstorming sessions, Holostik provides an exclusive customised inventory management solution to the client.

Now let’s understand the process of inventory management system through the following steps:

  • The inventory management system starts right from the raw material stage to the final finished product stage. With the help of an inventory management system, a manufacturer in real time can easily know the quantity of raw material converted into the product on the production floor.
  • The manufacturer is also aware of the quantity of product which goes from the production floor to the warehouse and in the distribution channel.
  • The span of this system goes up to the retailer. The system helps the manufacturer in ascertaining the inventory of the system at each stage of the supply chain.
  • The inventory management system provides better decision-making power to the company owner. He or she can effectively strategize and manage the entire production and distribution process with much ease.

FICCI welcomes U.S Government’s action against counterfeits

The US President Donald Trump recently signed a memorandum on combatting the trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods which will stop the sales of fake goods, especially on e-commerce platforms. In a statement applauding the work of US government, FICCI said that the Department of Homeland Security along with the Commerce Department, the federal agencies will create a report to curb fake goods in American marketplace within 201 days.

The report will determine the data, factors, market incentives and distortions which lead third-parties to involve in the trafficking of fake and pirated goods.

According to a study released by OECD, the business of fake and pirated products represents 3.3% of the global trade. The study also explains that the share of counterfeits has grown significantly posing a risk to the global economy. FICCI has been addressing the menace of illicit trade with regards to duplication, smuggling and piracy through its initiative CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy).

While speaking on the development Anil Rajput, Chairman FICCI CASCADE said, “This is a proactive step taken by the US President to curb the menace arising out of sale of counterfeits which adversely impacts the legal industry, government revenue and the health and safety of the people. Illicit trade also fuels organized crime. It threatens peace and stability worldwide, and hence all countries across the world must address the matter on war footing.”

FICCI CASCADE works in coordination with government, industry, enforcement agencies, media, legal experts and consumer organizations to develop awareness on counterfeiting and smuggling.

Source: Outlook India

What are the negative effects of counterfeiting on companies?

Counterfeiting or duplication is not only harmful to the consumers but is equally detrimental for the companies. Moreover, counterfeiting not just affects big brands- assumed by many but, also decimates the business growth of small companies.

According to a report by Research and Markets, “The total amount of counterfeiting has reached to 1.2 Trillion USD in 2017 globally and is bound to reach 1.82 Trillion USD by the year 2020.”

This monstrous growth of counterfeiting is a testimony to the fact that it is badly affecting the business growth and market image of companies. Counterfeiting leads to serious problems which may even in some situations lead to a complete shutdown of businesses. Let’s discuss the major impacts of counterfeiting on businesses.

1.Drop down in sales

Counterfeiting brings down sales of genuine goods. Consider a scenario in which the counterfeit of your genuine product is sold in the market at half of its price. This will attract many consumers who are willing to buy fakes and will negatively affect the sale of your genuine products.

New research from Mark Monitor, the world leader in enterprise brand protection, has revealed that almost half (47%) of brands lose sales revenue to counterfeit or pirated goods, with one in three reporting a loss of more than 10%.

With the growth of online shopping, it has become difficult to recognize fake products. Forgers usually copy the branding and packaging of genuine products making it difficult for one to recognize fake products. The infestation of e-commerce space with counterfeits has brought down sales of legitimate companies.

2.Loss of brand reputation

Brand reputation is critical for companies across the world. A piece of negative news involving the companies name can hit its reputation badly. Similarly, a counterfeit purchased by a consumer in place of the genuine product may fail to work or worn out in a few days. This will create a wrong impression in the minds of consumers about the poor quality of the brand’s products.

It takes years of hard work and consistent consumer satisfaction to create an iconic brand image for companies.

Since word of mouth publicity plays an important role in the brand image the consumers affected by fakes will provide negative feedback on the brand. Customers may also leave negative reviews on forums and websites which further ruins the brand’s image.

3.Loss of time and money in fighting fakes

When a company finds out that they are being impacted by counterfeiting they take certain measures to fight back. However, this can be time-consuming and involves a lot of money and resources. This leads to diversion of company’s money for fighting fakes instead of investing it in other developments.

Companies suffering from counterfeiting invest a good amount of money in hiring costly legal experts and fighting legal cases for securing their products and brand from IP infringements.

E-Commerce major Amazon has taken a new initiative for fighting fakes. The online company has initiated an anti-counterfeiting move known as ‘Project Zero’ which will allow brands to directly flag and delete fake listings themselves.

Drug technical advisory board recommends mandatory QR coding on API labels

In order to ensure the quality of drugs and check the sale of fake drugs in the market, the DTAB (Drugs Technical Advisory Board) has recommended mandatory QR coding on labels of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). The QR codes will help in tracing the origin and movement of APIs from manufacturers to formulators through a networking system.

DTAB in a recent meeting noted that the security and integrity of API in proper storage condition played a very important role in maintaining its quality in the supply chain. The board also added that the stakeholders had suggested for implementing QR coding on APIs for tracing the origin and movement of drug ingredients.

While speaking on the development, a senior Health Ministry official said that the DTAB after detailed deliberation has recommended to include mandatory provisions under the Drug and Cosmetics Rules 1945. Other officials from the Health Ministry confirmed the numerous benefits of QR coding on API which included better price control and quality control.

APIs are the active raw materials used in the medicines to give them their therapeutic effect. A large share of APIs are being procured from other countries but the Health Ministry envisions to become self-reliant. Earlier, FICCI has also said that the reliance on other countries for API exposes India to disruptions in supply chain and pricing volatility.

Recently, the Supreme Court had directed the Central Govt. to develop a system that would benefit consumers by controlling the prices of drugs. The Health Ministry says that it has been working on introducing the QR coding for medicine packaging which can then be linked to a software supervised by NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority).

Source: The Hindu

How anti-tampering labels help in securing the product?

Whether it’s a medicine, food item or a makeup kit, consumers always want to be sure about the genuineness of the product. Any kind of adulteration and tampering not just dupes the consumer but also raises a question on the credibility of the brand and its products.

Just imagine a scenario where you find that your anti-cough syrup bottle has a tampered or a broken seal, but the contents seem intact. Will you take the risk of consuming the syrup? We bet you won’t give it a second thought and you might throw it in the trash or return it to the store.

In order to avoid such kind of situations which jeopardizes the health of the consumers and rips apart the image of the brand, many pharmaceutical companies are using different kinds of anti-tampering solutions for securing their products.

Of late, there has been widespread use of anti-tampering labels in different industries which provide robust security to the products. As their name suggests these security labels display any kind of tampering attempt made with the product. There are different kinds of anti-tampering labels with different functionalities which are as follows:

  • Paper labels: These labels indicate tampering by tearing or delaminating.
  • Void labels: When an attempt is made to remove these labels, the adhesive layer is destroyed, and a warning message appears on the substrate.
  • Self-destructive labels: When these labels are removed, they leave behind visible fragments which are very difficult to remove from the packaging.
  • Perforated labels: When the package is opened the label is destroyed at the perforation line.

Holostik is one of the leaders in manufacturing wide variety of anti-tampering labels. These labels can also encompass security printing and cutting-edge holographic features which enhances its security manifolds. Holostik has a legacy of securing different types of products and brands with the help of anti-tampering labels.

Major clamp down on fake shirts, shoes and watches

In a recent development bureau of customs destroyed fake shoes, six Rolex wristwatches and soaps having a total value of PHP 1.80 million. The incident took place in Camp Crame, Quezon City in the Philippines. The clampdown and destruction of fake goods marked the celebration of National Intellectual Property Rights Month.

As per the statement issued by the customs officials, the counterfeit products seized and destroyed from various areas were a result of ongoing efforts to secure the country’s border from counterfeit and pirated goods. Among the many confiscated fake products, six counterfeit Rolex watches came from Thailand. The items were found inside the luggage of a passenger caught in the X-ray images.

The assorted counterfeit shoes and soaps came from the operation conducted by operatives from the intellectual property rights division a part of the intelligence group. Some other items destroyed in the anti-counterfeiting operation were fake cigarettes, bags, wallets, phone accessories, shirts, belts, CDs among others.

The import of fake goods is restricted under Republic Act No. 8293 known as the ‘Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero vowed to secure the country’s border and protect local buyers against counterfeit products.

Source: canadianinquirer.net

The growing problem of counterfeit footwear

A recent report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and EU’s (European Union’s) Intellectual Property Office states that the footwear industry is one of the worst hit by counterfeiting. Some of the popular footwear brands affected by counterfeiting are Nike, Adidas, Sketchers, Reebok, Asics etc. Surprisingly, fake footwear represented 22% of the overall share of counterfeited and pirated goods seized in the year 2016.

Consumers these days have become highly fashion conscious however not everyone can afford costly branded items. In order to satisfy their hunger for brands without spending enough money, consumers knowingly buy counterfeit products. Purchasing counterfeit items is illegal and buyers of counterfeit products violate the intellectual property rights of the brands.

Counterfeiting becomes totally unacceptable when the consumers are unknowingly duped into buying fakes. It is quite tough to differentiate between genuine and fake products. With the growth of online portals, it has become easier to sell counterfeit products. This is because a consumer cannot examine the product physically to assess the genuineness of the product. Counterfeiters also utilise renowned sites to sell fake products.

According to a report, global footwear market was valued at approximately USD 246.07 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate revenue of around USD 320.44 billion by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 4.5% between 2017 and 2023.

With an enormous market for the footwear industry in the coming years, it is quite likely that counterfeiters will try their best to eat the profits of genuine companies. Counterfeit footwear may satiate your urge for branded goods, but they wear out, may cause injury or accident and many times lead to high monetary loss. Besides this, counterfeit footwear leads to loss of profits, drop down in the reputation of a brand and most importantly leads to unemployment.

Counterfeit footwear can be curbed with the help of effective regulatory measures, use of anti-counterfeiting technologies and most importantly by spreading awareness among consumers related to fake footwear products.

Counterfeit goods represent 3.3% of the world trade

According to the latest report by OECD and EU’s Intellectual Property Office the trade in counterfeit goods has increased rapidly over the last few years and now represent 3.3 per cent of the global trade.

The report titled as  ‘Trends in Trade in counterfeit and Pirated Goods’ states the value of imported counterfeit goods around the world in 2016 was valued at $509 billion which increased from $461 billion in the year 2013. For the EU, the trade in fake goods represented 6.8 per cent of imports from non-EU countries up from 5 per cent in 2013.

The trade in counterfeit goods which violate trademarks and copyrights can generate profits for organized crimes at the expense of companies and governments. Counterfeit items like medicines, auto parts, toys, food, cosmetic brands and electrical goods have many health and safety concerns.

As per the report, some of the most counterfeited goods confiscated in the year 2016 included footwear, clothing, leather goods, electrical equipment, watches, medical equipment, perfumes, toys, jewellery and pharmaceuticals. Officials also pointed out that there was an increase in counterfeit musical instruments and construction materials. A majority of the fake goods originate in China, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand and India.

Source: sdcexec.com