Friday 13th proved to be especially bad luck for those selling counterfeit goods on Facebook.
Figures released today show more than 600 traders offering in excess of 1300 listings which are being removed in what is hoped to be the first of many such exercises aimed at disrupting and dismantling counterfeiting activity on the Facebook platform.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) and 17 of its members have been monitoring the platform and collecting evidence against individuals and groups.
The fakes being targeted range from branded cosmetics and electrical goods to clothing and footwear.
Having identified the offending pages they then initiated a takedown operation through Facebook’s own reporting tool, removing illegal content and supporting Trading Standards across the UK in targeted enforcement actions on traders.
ACG Director General Chrissie Florczyk said “Facebook is being used by hundreds of counterfeiters to sell a whole range of products to consumers. This activity severely impacts on our members and through our coordination role we are committed to supporting any activity that reduces this threat. All of the data collected will be passed to law enforcement agencies, so the message to anybody considering selling fakes on Facebook is beware!”
Handley Brustad Lead officer for Intellectual Property, Trading Standards Institute commented “We wholeheartedly support this initiative. These actions can only benefit consumers, by preventing them from being misled”.
“The City of London Police fully supports the work of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) to help protect rights holders in the branded goods sector. As we move into 2014, both our Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) will continue to work closely with the ACG as well as social media platforms to protect consumers and businesses from intellectual property theft.”
The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) is a not for profit trade association which represents rights holders in the branded goods sectors (see our website www.a-cg.org for more information). It is a unique forum for stakeholders in the anti-counterfeiting field to collaborate and support each other – from brand owners through specialist service providers to the law enforcement agencies which are responsible for enforcing the criminal provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1994.
For further information on this press release, please contact Chrissie Florczyk on 01494 449165.