Amazon’s Recall: The Solar Eclipse and the Danger of Counterfeiting

Amazon’s Recall: The Solar Eclipse and the Danger of Counterfeiting

There is a lot of talk right now surrounding the upcoming solar eclipse happening on August 21, 2017, which will be primarily visible across the United States.  However, the conversation is less about the eclipse and more focused on Amazon’s recent recall on several “suspect” eclipse glasses that were purchased through the eCommerce giant’s retailers.  These “suspect” glasses, as they are being referenced, do not adhere with the ISO standard governing them. While Amazon has not released the names of the retailers that sold the “suspect” product, they are making efforts to alert everyone about the problem.

This is not Amazon’s first experience dealing with counterfeit products—or “suspect” products.  Over the last few years, Amazon has been taking steps to combat the sale of counterfeit products to ensure a positive experience and to help maintain their credibility as a safe place to shop for authentic goods.

While Amazon works to resolve this issue, it raises an important question about the different strategies that can be taken to protect consumers from counterfeit, fake or suspect products.  The global anti-counterfeit packaging market is said to grow to 206.57 Billion US by 2021.  The current anti-counterfeiting strategies available fall into two categories passive (overt) and active (covert).  Passive strategies include: holograms, security seals, color shifting inks and watermarks.  Unfortunately, these are relatively easy strategies to duplicate by counterfeiters.  Active strategies include Serialization, RFID, Optica, Chemical and Microtaggants. Do these active methodologies work? Put simply -  these methodologies fall short as well, in some cases with dangerous consequences.

Both strategies have various limitations on their own, so what should a brand owner do to protect their brand and consumer from counterfeit products? With the current technology unable to keep up with the exponential growth of counterfeits, brand owners are seeking the next technology revolution in protection.  We believe to build confidence in your brand and ensure the safety of your customers, there needs to be another option.

Final thought— Online marketplaces have changed the entire dynamic and upped the ante for retailers/brand owners.  Companies must take brand protection more seriously and starting to implement tools to protect their consumer and guard against counterfeiting and diversion.