Posted by: admin in: barcode labels
Life imitates art, but when someone produces imitation products of the genuine article we all suffer – the manufacturer, the distributor and the customer. Beating the counterfeiters is an imperative for any business intent on maintaining its proprietary rights over a brand as well its market reputation and billions of dollars are lost every year because of cheap knock-offs and in these times, thousands of people have lost their jobs because of criminal counterfeit operations.
Labeling provides a key weapon in the war against the imitators as packaging is one of the hardest things for a counterfeiter to replicate.
Holograms provide a great way of ensuring the product is genuine as they are exceptionally difficult to replicate; so useful and effective are holograms than many currency notes in circulation overseas use holographic images as part of the overall design – something actively being considered by the U.S. Treasury in the war on counterfeit money operations. A drawback of holograms is that they can still be stolen as a separate item of value in themselves and many counterfeit DVD operations in the Far East have found ways to actively source holographic stickers or in fact replicate them to an acceptable standard.
Luckily, there have been significant advances in the development of digital printing and colored inks which have been combined with barcode technology to provide an extra layer of differentiation as well as carrying important information about the history of the product package.
Color barcode labels have been actively developed by HP with several pharmaceutical companies who have been looking at ways to ensure the end-user readily sees the medicines they are using are genuine and also are able to access vital information concerning that batch of medicine product. In some instances, the ability to trust the “medication” is a matter of life and death with an enormous black market for illicit, counterfeit medications.
Before you think this is an issue which affects only the undeveloped world consider that one Viagra pill was selling for over $100 on the black market when the drug was initially launched and only available after an exhaustive medical screening session.
Beating the counterfeiters is a seriously thorny issue!
Hoodia Gordonii was the diet supplement extracted from a cactus which only grew in a specific and restricted location in East Africa and was subject to very strict certification standards but at one point it was thought that over 75% of the supplement was actually counterfeit goods. These two examples alone have resulted in billions of dollars of sales to unwitting consumers – a direct loss to the manufacturers and the consumer.