Social media provides an unrivalled opportunity for organizations to engage with current and future customers in a fast-moving and innovative environment. Unfortunately, online criminals have recognized the same opportunity, and are taking advantage of brands’ attributes and trademarks in order to steal revenue, distribute counterfeit goods and damage reputations.
Brand owners face an increasingly difficult challenge in managing the exposure of their brands on social media platforms. As with domain name registrations, many social media sites use a ‘first come, first served’ registration policy. This means that anyone can register any profile and use it to serve content to consumers. A social media monitoring solution is necessary to detect and enforce against rogue profiles, trademark and copyright infringements, and the distribution of counterfeit goods. The facts can’t be ignored:
There are 1.55 billion users on Facebook, 100 million on LinkedIn, 320 million on Twitter, 400 million on Instagram and 100 million on Pinterest
Social media has become the preferred platform for interaction between individuals online
Trademark infringements and the distribution of counterfeit goods are rife on social media
It’s not been the easiest of times recently for luxury fashion labels as the cost of counterfeiting to their brands continues to grow. In the NetNames report Counting the cost of counterfeiting, published in 2015, we reported that the sale of counterfeit goods online alone increased 15.6% year on year, whilst counterfeiting and piracy are estimated to cost G20 governments and consumers more than $125 billion each year – and have destroyed 2.5 million jobs worldwide.
In July, luxury brands won a significant victory in their battle with the billion-dollar online counterfeit industry. The Court of Appeal in London ruled that Richemont, owner of Cartier and many other prestigious labels, could ask internet service providers to block access to websites selling counterfeit goods.