Counterfeiting poses a significant danger for both businesses and consumers. France Télévisions recently underscored this issue in their investigative segment, “L’enquête du Week-end” (Weekend Investigation), supported by our EBRAND France team. The report focused on high-end counterfeits, specifically luxury bags, shedding light on the growing problems around scams and fakes. To highlight effective technical countermeasures, the investigation showcased our Online Brand Protection platform, ARGOS. The ARGOS demo showcased real-time reporting and takedowns of fake products online. This exposé comes at an opportune time of year, coinciding with the seasonal ecommerce rush. As consumers gear up for major events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day, and Christmas sales, scammers capitalize on the increased online activity, making the role of robust brand protection strategies more crucial than ever.
Here, we’ll unpack the trends explored in France Télévisions’ investigation with regard to ecommerce events like Black Friday. Understanding new developments in counterfeiting, and the technological solutions that tackle them, helps businesses secure their ecommerce revenues. Meanwhile, consumers secure gifts for their loved ones this season.
What did France Télévisions’ investigation bring to light?
This short clip combines crucial elements from a complex set of issues, and there’s a lot to unpack. After highlighting the rise in fakes, and sharing on-street opinions from shoppers upset with the prices of counterfeits, the report showcases real-life superfake bags. Much like our recent coverage of superfakes, France Télévisions’ story highlights the skilled, artisanal nature of modern counterfeits. Real, Fake, and superfake products often appear indistinguishable to the untrained eye. However, these fakes circumvent regulations designed to protect businesses, economies, and consumer health, creating a range of hazards if undetected.
Countering the counterfeit problem
The EBRAND online brand protection solution, anchored by the cutting-edge ARGOS platform, creates a formidable defense against online counterfeiting. Utilizing a comprehensive strategy, EBRAND analyzes digital landscapes and online brand activities to detect and prevent counterfeit sales. France Télévisions dig into the details in their report, with help from Pierre Berecz, President of EBRAND France, and Priscille Loubert, our IP Legal Advisor. They showcase ARGOS’s unique capabilities, emphasizing its artificial intelligence tools and smart algorithms that calculate risk scores for infringements across online channels. This advanced technology facilitates precise assessment and categorization of threats, ensuring seamless workflow automation.
In the past year alone, ARGOS demonstrated its efficacy by detecting brand infringements on thousands of digital marketplaces, underscoring its broad coverage and effectiveness in combating online scams on a global scale. The ARGOS solution conducts a meticulous search through millions of sources. These include active web stores, thousands of online marketplaces, and relevant social networks globally, among other commercial areas online. The enforcements move swiftly and effectively, utilizing a range of proven takedown workflows. EBRAND’s multi-lingual team of IP lawyers and analysts execute these enforcements, including legal actions like UDRP processes.
ARGOS equips businesses to navigate dynamic digital landscapes, helping businesses prepare for global ecommerce events like Black Friday.
Understanding events like Black Friday to tackle counterfeiting
Black Friday, the first Friday after Thanksgiving, marks the time when many retailers balance the books from “red” to “black” as Christmas shopping commences. These seasonal deals expand beyond the US, and expand beyond the Friday itself, spawning the ecommerce-focused Cyber Monday shopping day. Black Friday online sales exceeded $65 billion in 2022. More than 50% of European consumers, specifically Spanish and Irish markets, said they were like to take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals in 2022. With fake products and scams in consumer markets like apparel surging by 646% during Black Friday 2022, brands and consumers alike must stay on their guard to ensure that hard-earned funds flow in the right direction.
Ultimately, consumers choose deals online to save money and buy gifts for their loved ones. The same goes for the shoppers in the street in France Télévisions’ investigation and online bargain hunters around the world. Counterfeiters exploit these human impulses and human connections to rob shoppers and siphon revenues from legitimate retailers with convincing counterfeits.
How counterfeiters exploit ecommerce rushes
As with any ecommerce rush, increasing transactions mean a spike in scams. This year, for example, experts warn consumers about a 22% spike in retail scams during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Counterfeiters develop devious new strategies each year. These scammers host their own sites to sell counterfeits, promoting fakes on legitimate marketplaces, and even creating superfake products with superfake marketing campaigns to support them. Digital dependence, online illiteracy, and economic crises also mean that consumers search uncritically for bargains online.
Counterfeiters exploit these needs, building scams to hit home. The growth of social media and the breakneck speed of AI also help criminals create scams at scale and tailor them for their targets. When convincing counterfeits appear on your favourite social media platforms, mobile apps, and go-to digital marketplaces, they’re hard to avoid. Counterfeits sting consumers and drag brands through the mud, especially during ecommerce events like Black Friday.
Every time a counterfeiter takes a penny from a would-be customer, they take revenue from a company’s books. They also take goods and services from a consumer’s hands. Every time they impersonate a business, they intercept a vital touch-point between producers and consumers, and scare clients away from ecommerce altogether.
How can businesses protect themselves?
Scammers work hard to trick their targets. Businesses must therefore match their efforts to protect consumers from counterfeits and scams and make the most of seasonal sales. Advanced Online Brand Protection solutions sweep marketplaces, social media platforms, Ecommerce sites and many other areas for IP infringements and counterfeit goods, as France Télévisions’ investigation shows. EBRAND’s ARGOS patrols ensure that legitimate firms are the only ones cashing in on the ecommerce rush. Beyond that, our legal experts support the most effective enforcement actions, and our technical team fine-tune our digital solutions.
Ultimately, ecommerce events like Christmas and Cyber Monday also deliver opportunities for brands and consumers to celebrate. Find out how to turn ecommerce attack surfaces into valuable strengths for these seasonal celebrations with the help of our EBRAND experts.