MAC takes Target back to courts over fake cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

MAC takes Target back to courts over fake cosmetics

Related tags: Color cosmetics line, Counterfeit

Target is back in the courts again as it, alongside Estée Lauder informs federal officials that they cannot agree on whether MAC cosmetics, at the core of their battle are, as alleged, fake.

This is the latest news in a case whereby MAC claimed that Target Australia was selling counterfeit products of the brand, allegedly bought through a US wholesaler back in 2012.

Target is not a licensed retailer of the color cosmetics line in Australia, so when it started selling the range MAC owner Estée Lauder carried out tests on the products, of which they say found the products to be counterfeit.

Since then the retailer has pulled the brand from its shelves but continues to defend its right to sell the products in court as it says it brought the goods into the country through the parallel importing provisions after buying from a licensed American MAC wholesaler.

Target is owned by Perth-based conglomerate Wesfarmers, one of Australia's biggest companies that also owns supermarket giant Coles, Kmart and hardware group Bunnings. It continues to seek access to crucial documents via the courts in Texas that could prove its heavily discounted MAC line last year was genuine.

Efforts to trace the line back to supplier

'Get Your MAC On' was recently discovered by Target as the supplier to the Australian importer and according to filings with Arizona corporate regulators, the sole director Yvonne Vitale applied 30 days ago to have her business wound up.

It is believed agents looking to source MAC cosmetics on behalf of Target last year flew to Arizona to meet with the company and were given assurances of the quality and authenticity of its supply. The cosmetics were also tested and verified by an independent lab in Corona, California, on behalf of Target.

Estee Lauder has also launched legal action against 'Get Your MAC On' in the US courts. The cases against both companies in the US and Australia remain on-going.

Tell tale signs that products may not be the real McCoy

Meanwhile; business blog 'Smartcompany' has reported that Ken Taylor, managing director of Trademark Investigation Services, a company that works with major brands to help them identify counterfeits, says that while none of his clients disagree with parallel importing in principle, it does open up new areas of counterfeit risk.

“The first alarm bell is price. Some of the prices that people pay are just too good to be true. And of course, they’re not.Perhaps the biggest difficulty for importers is that overseas counterfeiters will sometimes mix genuine and counterfeit goods together, making it difficult to test whether or not a batch of product is genuine,"​ they reported.

Related topics: Business & Financial, Color Cosmetics

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