Consumer Goods Industry

Counterfeiters and grey marketers exploit the Internet’s wide reach, low cost, and anonymity

Looking for a well-known branded consumer item—shoes or jewelry, for example? Better be careful: in 2007, the World Intellectual Property Review reported 22 percent of consumer goods sold online were counterfeit.

The sale of grey market and counterfeit goods—from luxury and sporting goods to everyday items like shampoo and cigarettes—thrives on the Internet. This robust distribution channel is fueled by counterfeiters, and grey marketers moving stolen, damaged and recalled goods. In fact, criminals have created a virtual supply chain with products being sold in bulk to wholesalers on popular B2B exchanges and then resold to consumers via illicit auction and eCommerce sites.

With online sales rising 21% annually, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, this is big, global business. Scammers employ savvy marketing strategies to confuse consumers and divert web traffic, including illicit advertising on search, eCommerce and social media venues, and—especially in the case of luxury goods—spam. Legitimate brandholders pay a heavy price: lost revenue, flagging demand, angry channel partners, skyrocketing warranty and service costs, and increased product liability as consumers buy sub-standard goods. Brands lose their cachet as brand equity erodes and customer trust diminishes.

To take back their brands, channels, and revenues, consumer goods manufacturers will need to create, for the online world, what they already spend millions doing in the offline world: a comprehensive brand protection strategy. MarkMonitor® can help.

MarkMonitor at Work

A major consumer goods manufacturer with primary and sub-brands fights counterfeit and grey market sales, illicit marketing practices and the resulting brand erosion and revenue losses by using the MarkMonitor Brand Protection™ and MarkMonitor Domain Management solutions.


Aggressively taking down counterfeit and grey market sales protects
revenues and consumer confidence.

How MarkMonitor Protects Consumer Goods Brands Online

  • Prevent the selling of counterfeit and grey market goods online—and end the revenue loss and brand equity erosion these activities cause
  • Shut down traffic interception tactics used in search marketing, social media, spam and elsewhere, to protect against customer confusion and ensure an authentic brand and product experience
  • Help identify and expose illicit manufacturers and assist offline investigations, taking action at the initial source of distribution
  • Reduce false warranty claims and customer service costs that result from grey market and counterfeit sales
  • Bolster authorized reseller programs by proactively managing online channels and stopping non-compliant sales
  • Efficiently manage multiple brands online through proactive and comprehensive domain portfolio management


  • $125M in illicit products removed from 20 B2B and B2C exchanges through aggressive enforcement
  • 500% increase in successful de-listings of counterfeit and grey market goods, preventing further revenue diversion
  • 95% decrease in photo and text trademark infringement through comprehensive monitoring, detection and enforcement
  • 2 million site visits per day recaptured; no longer being diverted to illicit or unauthorized sites
  • 90% decrease in squatted sites through domain portfolio consolidation and pro-active management
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