Haven Licensing's charge against counterfeiters in Australia is moving up a gear, with the firm appointing a new head of its brand protection programme and also engaging the help of Trade Mark Investigation Services.
The programme is designed to tackle the import and sale of counterfeit licensed products head on, protects the brands it represents and the revenue streams generated from their international licensors.
Haven has hired Madellen Sayers to head up the programme. It is also working with Trade Mark Investigation Services (TMIS), which has raids happening weekly in markets in Australia, issues on-the-spot warning notices, formal cease and desist letters and trap purchases.
Sayers is already reporting encouraging results from the programme. The first initiative resulted in the seizure of 20,000 units of Dora apparel. Other positive outcomes include the reluctance of market stall-holders to stock targeted licences in the future, reduction of demand to importers and feedback of importer information to Customs.
TMIS also believes that a percentage of counterfeit customers convert to purchases of genuine products.
Nickelodeon, Hit Entertainment and 20th Century Fox have all come on board to support the initiative, while Haven has also signed up with eBay's VeRO programme, which works with rights owners to identify counterfeit goods and remove them from sale.
"Quite aside from hurting sales, the big problem with counterfeiting is the devaluation of the brands," explained Tom Punch, MD of Haven. "The last thing we want is our brands misrepresented, on a substandard product that falls apart after one wash, or worse still does not meet the strict safety standards that govern our market.
"We are excited to be approaching this problem with all guns blazing. Brand protection is of vital importance to the success of our business and that of our clients."