Before using holograms as counterfeit protection markings, there are some important aspects to consider - we explain which.
Holograms are everywhere: as a fun effect on postcards and toys, but also on banknotes, credit cards and on expensive products such as consumer electronics. In the case of the latter, holograms are intended to identify genuine products as such to enable consumers to distinguish them from counterfeit products. There are a few aspects to consider, however.
Embossed holography technology is freely available on the market and is provided by a vast number of suppliers. Custom embossed holograms can also be purchased easily and affordably from online sales platforms such as eBay and Alibaba. The search term “security hologram” alone produces more than 41,000 hits on Alibaba (as at Dec. 2016). This has already been exploited frequently in the past by counterfeiters, who not only produced imitations of original products but also used the available technology to produce imitations of the hologram markings. Security identification marks that can be created using such publicly available technologies are therefore not recommended.
In the worst-case scenario, brand owners waste both time and money. Counterfeiters can continue to sell their counterfeit products by producing imitations of the would-be security holograms and applying them to their counterfeit products. Consumers are lulled into a false sense of security but are in fact buying a counterfeit product. The financial losses incurred by the brand owner remain unchanged.