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Skin care brands seek out counterfeit protection

By Guy Montague-Jones , 15-Nov-2007

Two leading skin care brands have turned to OpSec Security to help them tackle the growing problems of counterfeiting and gray market online sales.

US scare companies Peter Thomas Roth and June Jacobs have bought online protection software to defend their brands and their customers from unauthorized sales. The development of internet sites and auctions as shopping destinations for beauty consumers has been accompanied by a proliferation of unscrupulous online sellers. Consumer demand for ever cheaper cosmetics and the globalization of the market place have also contributed significantly to the problem. Unauthorized sellers are peddling counterfeit cosmetics online along with expired, degraded and repackaged goods in an effort to fool the beauty consumer. Cosmetics companies are particularly concerned by unauthorized sales because their products come into direct contact with the body and could therefore endanger consumer health and safety. OpSec Security marketing director Terri Mock told CosmeticsDesign.com: "There is growing interest in brand protection software from beauty companies because of the impact expired or degraded cosmetics can have on human health." Ultimately the sale of unauthorized cosmetics can have a negative impact on brand image as consumers expect high quality products from companies such as Peter Thomas Roth and June Jacobs. To help companies prevent unauthorized sales OpSec Security has developed software that enables businesses to monitor sales of their products online, track unauthorized sellers and then take action against illegitimate distributors. Mock said unauthorized cosmetics products are often identifiable because of their price, source, appearance and quantity. Counterfeit goods are often sold in bulk and distributed from countries in the Far East at bargain basement prices and sometimes even have noticeable packaging faults. L'Oreal recently took legal action against eBay for failing to fight the sale of counterfeit goods through its internet auction website. The world's largest cosmetics company said it had been facing an increase in the volume of illicit trade in fake cosmetics and the damage incurred ran into several million dollars. OpSec Security is one of a number of companies that have been set up to fight the problem of unauthorized sales. While it provides anti-counterfeiting software to allow companies to identify counterfeit sales other companies have developed alternative solutions such as packaging with integrated holograms to make it easier for consumers to identify fakes.

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