As COVID19 restrictions ease in the UK, shoppers are not only looking to buy chocolate eggs over the holiday but also gifts for their family or friends.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), Facebook and the UK Intellectual Property Office’s Intelligence Hub are joining forces in another collaborative campaign, Operation CLOVER, to take down online traders of counterfeit products, which are impacting ACG member brands and misleading consumers. “Traders in counterfeit goods are using prestigious brand names to sell illicit and potentially dangerous products online,” said Phil Lewis, the group’s Director General.

Following the success of Operation Carol in November 2020, all three organizations are partnering once again to protect the interests of consumers and legitimate businesses that are struggling to survive in these difficult times.

“Despite the easing of restrictions, COVID19 continues to have a profound effect on the retail sector. With many shops still closed, shoppers have instead gone online to buy their gifts, and  sellers have jumped in to meet that demand. Disreputable sellers are trading from their homes and garages, selling fake items bearing well established global brand names, including potentially unsafe electrical goods, toys, cosmetics, perfume, clothing, trainers and handbags.”

Consumers should be extremely vigilant and check that any product they buy online is from a reputable source. If they are suspicious about goods being potentially counterfeit, they should report them as quickly as possible.

Graham Mogg, Intelligence coordinator at the ACG said, “We’re targeting traders that are deceiving shoppers by selling counterfeit goods online. These fakes are likely to be poorly made, poorly finished and more likely to be unsafe. That’s why we’ve been working with Facebook to remove listings of potentially counterfeit goods. We want to help protect innocent individuals who are shopping online and simply looking for an Easter bargain.”

“ACG is very grateful to Facebook and the IPO Intelligence Hub for their support. Certainly, without them this operation wouldn’t have been possible.’’

Facebook takes intellectual property rights, including issues concerning counterfeits, seriously and has put in place a variety of measures to address these issues. More information about how Facebook protects intellectual property can be found in this anti-counterfeiting guide in its Business Help Center.

ACG, Facebook and the Intelligence Hub greatly value this productive collaboration.



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