The booming illicit trade threatens companies’ market reputations and the integrity of their brands across global supply chains
The threats posed to global brands by criminals are growing significantly and at an alarming rate according to David M. Luna, President and CEO of Luna Global Networks, and departing Chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade. Mr. Luna who will be keynoting the 2017 Brand Protection Congress on November 21-22 in Munich, Germany, underscored how the destabilizing effects and corruptive influence of transnational organized crime can wreak tremendous harms to the integrity of brands, and have detrimental financial impacts on many of today’s companies around the world.
During his chairmanship of the OECD TFCIT, the OECD released several important evidence-based reports including, “Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact”, in partnership with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), in which they estimated the value of imported fakes worldwide at $US 461 billion in 2013, or up to 2.5% of global trade in goods. With a specific focus on the EU, the report found that up to 5 percent of goods imported into the European Union are fakes.
Mr. Luna said that due to the counterfeiting and pirating of products, in some cases, it was becoming harder for legitimate businesses to compete against these imported fake products and on-line piracy. Illicit trade results in lost profits for companies, job displacements for workers, business closures, and economic hardships for governments when less revenue is brought into the treasuries to fund public services.
These illegal trade are basically products which are frequently found in a range of industries, from luxury items (e.g. fashion apparel or deluxe watches), to intermediary products (such as machines, spare parts or chemicals), to consumer goods that have an impact on personal health and safety such as pharmaceuticals, food and drink, medical equipment, or toys.
However, if you talk about the effective strategies that companies should have in place to protect products against criminal penetration and corruptive influences, Mr. Luna stressed that brand protection should be taken seriously at all levels of the company to safeguard the reputation of both the brand and the company, to consuming customers. In addition to building awareness of the economic costs and other harms related to illicit trade, counterfeiting and smuggling, investing resources against brand infringement should be a priority. One should always want to protect their reputation, revenue streams, and ensure continued consumer trust.
The two-day Munich Conference will explore current market trends and advancements in brand protection strategies, anti-counterfeiting and illicit trade, innovations, brand protection tools, and other technical solutions to fight related diversion, illicit trafficking and smuggling issues. Those attending the event include an impressive roster of world-class distinguished international speakers and experts from across sectors, industries, organizations and service providers.
The agenda of the congress can be assessed at https://worldbi.co.uk/BPC/agenda/
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