The Counterfeiter’s Luxury Playground
Counterfeiting has long been considered a victimless crime, one that only affects high-end luxury brands whose designers and owners are earning millions of dollars anyway. Could this misguided perception of counterfeiting be contributing to the fact that counterfeiters barely need to hide what they are doing anymore? The criminal merchants are present on tourist-ridden high streets and beach promenades, at the top of search engine results and now on social media apps and websites, promoting their products in what can only be described as a perfectly carefree manner.
The ubiquity of counterfeits and the ever-evolving range of techniques and strategies applied leaves brand owners struggling to keep up, and more and more are investing in brand protection in the luxury goods industry. Luxury clothing and accessories have been heavily hit by counterfeiters online and in apps, such as Instagram, where the accounts, ads and comments promote imitations of luxury goods and then direct consumers to external counterfeiters’ points of sale. E-commerce, social media and messenger applications remain difficult to regulate and to control, and counterfeiters are taking advantage of this. While online marketplaces and apps like Instagram are investing heavily in brand protection, rights-owners are also encouraged to take matters into their own hands to limit the damage caused by counterfeiters as much as they can.