In a new move, the trade body representing the global hologram industry has linked-up with two organisations tackling the growing problem of counterfeit products.
The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) will be working with the Anti-Counterfeiting Forum of the UK’s Electronic Systems Community (ESCO), which provides a platform for electronic trade associations and other representative bodies to share experience, best practice and resources to tackle counterfeiting, among other issues.
The move will see the IHMA raising awareness of its activities and members through ESCO’s global channels while reinforcing its position as the leading source for expertise and hologram strategies for security and anti-counterfeiting applications.
And in another move, the Association has given its support to the U.S. Electrical Safety Foundation International’s (ESFI) ‘Zero Tolerance for Counterfeits’ campaign.
The IHMA says the campaign boosts awareness of a huge issue in North America and beyond and is urging similar initiatives by electrical product trade associations in other international territories.
The link-ups provide a timely opportunity for organisations to review brand protection and authentication plans says the IHMA and, if necessary, redouble efforts to stem ‘the massive problem’ of counterfeit electrical and electronic goods which left undetected, can cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss in homes and the workplace.
The IHMA’s general secretary Ian Lancaster said it’s difficult to gauge the full cost of counterfeiting because the problem also causes untold damage to corporate reputations and market share.
He added: “We are delighted to be involved and supporting these organisations at a time when brands, and profits, are under attack from the activities of international criminals and clever counterfeiters.
“Product brand owners and those responsible for legislation need to do more – and quickly – to deal with the problem and this might include increased integration of holograms as part of brand protection strategies.
“Holography continues to play a key role as a highly effective, extremely flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters. All involved in the supply chain will be reassured by the presence of holograms on products and recognise the benefits they provide.
“We are looking forward to working with ESCO and ESFI, offering our expertise and advice on hologram solutions and how to develop strategies to secure the supply chain.”
The use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated by the ISO 12931 standard on authentication solutions, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from the counterfeits coming in the U.S and other territories. Even those that carry a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.