Protection from Brand Infection

In partnership with:


Extending the conversations started in the CMO Council’s Secure the Trust of Your Brand initiative, Protection from Brand Infection , a new strategic interest study, will focus on enterprise brand protection and take a deep dive into the brand image and integrity issues and implications of online counterfeit sales, gray market knock-offs, phishing attacks, cyber squatting, email scams, online brand and trademark abuse, domain kiting, pay-per-click fraud, copyright and patent infringements, as well as product piracy and fakes.

Protection from Brand Infection will determine the degree to which senior global marketers are sensitized to, and concerned about, brand hijacking, product piracy, cyber fraud, and other Internet reputation risks. It will also quantify the impact these incidents are having on brand trust, confidence, credibility and affinity among consumers, channels and business partners. Through both enterprise and consumer research, the program will identify and promote best practices for pre-empting digital and/or physical counterfeiting and containing or mitigating the resulting damage to bruised or battered brands while engaging in conversations with leading global marketers about the strategies and effectiveness of resources, solutions, and services being employed in the both the detection and protection of brand infection worldwide


Facts & Stats

General Statistics

Size and Scope of the Counterfeit Market

Phishing Facts and Stats

Piracy Facts and Stats

Counterfeit Facts and Stats

MarkMonitor Brandjacking Index 2008: The Year in Review

Cybersquatting continues as tool of choice for brandjackers.

  • Cybersquatting rose 18 percent during 2008, making it the most perpetrated form of abuse for the second year in a row.
  • A total of 440,584 instances of cybersquatting were identified in Q4, followed by 86,837 instances of false association and 33, 614 instances of pay-per-click abuse.
  • Consistent and notable quarter-over-quarter growth in cybersquatting for two years demonstrates that brandjackers are increasingly leveraging trademarks as they make use of best practices in search engine optimization to divert traffic to illegitimate or unauthorized sites.

Brandjackers are combining cybersquatting with other abuses, a practice called “blended abuse,” to attack brand reputations.

  • Brandjackers increase focus on eCommerce and offensive content abuses to drive revenues.
  • eCommerce abuse grew by 46 percent over 2008 and 13 percent over Q3 to a yearly high of 24,589 instances.
  • Offensive content abuse grew by 21 percent over 2008 and 23 percent over Q3.
  • Brandjackers increasingly leverage search engine optimization techniques for eCommerce and offensive content abuse to drive revenues.

Abuse across mainstream industry brands including apparel, automotive, high technology and media continues to rise.

  • Abuses of apparel brands rose 28 percent in 2008. Other industries experienced notable growth in brand attacks in 2008 including automotive at 21 percent, high technology at 21 percent, and food and beverage at 17 percent.
  • Abuse of media brands reached a yearly high of 43,832 instances, signifying an 11 percent increase in 2008.
  • Phishing remains the top brand-related problem for financial institutions due to increasingly sophisticated methods and technology.

The United States, Germany and the United Kingdom continue to host the majority of brandjacking websites.

  • While brand abuse is prevalent through the world, for the second year the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom are home to the majority of brandjacking websites.
  • 68 percent of websites that host brand abuse are hosted in the United States. Germany hosts 9 percent followed by the United Kingdom at 4 percent. Canada hosts 4 percent.
  • English speaking countries account for 80 percent of the top 15 countries hosting brandjacking websites.

Phishers move into new verticals, become more targeted, and continue to scale operations.

  • A total of 444 organizations were phished for the first time in 2008 as fraudsters continued to exploit opportunities to find new targets. Additionally, 422 organizations were phished in Q4 2008, an increase of 8 percent from Q3 2008 and 7 percent over the previous year.
  • Phish attacks against “other” industries (non-auction, payment services, retail/service or financial brands) reached 11,000 in 2008, a 135 percent increase.
  • Attacks against payment services brands increased 122 percent in the second half of the year. Attacks against financial services brands increased 51 percent in the second half of the year, a rise MarkMonitor attributes to the current economic crisis.
  • Phish attacks against retail/service brands dropped 83 percent in 2008 and attacks against auction brands dropped 67 percent in the second half of the year.
  • A total of 36 percent of phish sites were hosted in the United States in 2008, followed by the Russian Federation, Republic of Korea and France each at 6 percent and Germany at 4 percent.


Studies & White Papers


One CMO’s View: How Security Relates to Marketing • David Lewis, Message Systems

Counterfeit Goods on Premises: Third-party liability actions target owners of property where business is conducted • New York Law Journal

Brand Jacking Index Spring 2008 • MarkMonitor

2007 State Piracy Report • Business Software Alliance

Pharmaceutical Counterfeiting a Global Healthcare Menace: A New Technology Tool • XStream Systems

The Negative Consequences of International Intellectual Property Theft: Economic Harm, Threats to the Public Health and Safety, and Links to Organized Crime and Terrorist Organizations • International Anticounterfeiting Coalition

Collecting Legally Defensible Online Evidence: Creating a Standard Framework for Internet Investigations • Vere Software Investigative Tools


SpotlightOn: Counterfeiting
This video was created by INTA in cooperation with SpotlightOn to raise public awareness of the social and economic damage caused by counterfeiting. Introduced in early 2007 on United States public television, the video had more than 500 airings throughout the United States, with over 3 million viewers. Watch »

The Today Show: Avoiding Counterfeit Luxury Goods Online
When you think of counterfeiting, you likely think of deals on Prada shoes, Chanel purses and cheap D&G sunglasses. But according to the RCMP and U.S. Homeland Security, the world of counterfeiting has become a serious threat that can even kill. According to Interpol, an estimated 5 to 7 per cent of total worldwide trade is made up of counterfeit goods. Watch »


Upcoming Events


  IBC Legal's 2nd annual Online Brand Protection 2011

Highlighting and examining the latest challenges faced by brand owners in the digital environment

September 28th | Le Meridien Piccadilly, London, England

More info here »
Brand Protection & Anti-Counterfeiting Summit 2011

After amazing feedback from brand owners and solutions providers alike at last years Amsterdam Brand Protection and Anti-Counterfeiting Conference Legal IQ are delighted to announce the dates of the this years meeting. The event will once again take place in Amsterdam on the 29th and 30th of November. Bringing together senior brand owners from many different industries to discuss the very latest insights into the war on counterfeit goods and overall Brand Protection.

 November 30- December 2 | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

More info here »