About the Alliance


14 June 2006

The sale of fake goods on the Internet is a growing, and global, problem. More and more people are being caught out by fraudsters and criminals, selling all manner of counterfeit and pirated products. They include: DVDs, CDs, computer games, business software, books, and branded goods.

Last week a number of Alliance members attempted to understand the true scale of the criminal activity. Brand protection managers in the clothing, footwear and media industries spent one day on one Internet auction site - eBay, visiting auctions that appeared to be selling their goods at knock-down prices. Results included:

· One brand finding 50% of the sales they investigated involved infringing products.
· Another company finding counterfeit goods of its brand totalling over £5000 (at the bid ‘fake’ price)
· Hundreds of pirated music products being uncovered, worth thousands of pounds at the bid ‘fake’ price.
· Over 600 pirate DVDs and other film related product from 39 individual sellers being removed from sale.

Ruth Orchard, Vice Chair of the Alliance and Director General of the Anti Counterfeiting Group said: “The message is clear - buyers beware. In cyberspace, fakers can vanish with your cash in seconds.

“‘Real’ markets up and down the country have long provided a profitable outlet for fake goods of all kinds. Internet buyers seem to believe they are visiting a great new kind of car boot sale, full of fantastic bargains. But we frequently hear from buyers that, when the item they purchased in good faith arrives, and turns out to be fake, it is impossible to find the seller or obtain a refund. We urge consumers to take extra care when buying online, from whatever source”.

According to eBay only a very small percentage of its sales involve fake goods. However, results from this day’s activity show that figure is potentially much higher – particularly given that it was only possible to look at a small sample of sales. Alliance members look forward to working with eBay to achieve zero percentage as soon as possible.

For information about joining the Alliance please contact
Susie Winter at susie@allianceagainstiptheft.co.uk
or on 020 7534 0595