Counterfeiting of brand-name products is a growing international problem. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that seven percent of world trade is in counterfeit goods, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that U.S. companies lose $200 billion to $250 billion a year due to counterfeiting.
When consumers unknowingly purchase counterfeit products, which Colgate has no role in producing or distributing, the impact has a much greater impact on the Company than just the loss of sales. It affects the relationship and trust that we have established with consumers who have a right to receive the quality and safety that they expect when they purchase Colgate brands.
Counterfeiting has evolved into a sophisticated global manufacturing and distribution industry. To combat this serious issue, Colgate has a centralized anti-counterfeit initiative to ensure that consumers receive Colgate's genuine high-quality products.
Our Brand Protection Unit was formed to protect our consumers, our customers and our brands. It is responsible for examining counterfeit developments and overseeing global anti-counterfeit efforts. The Brand Protection Unit develops strategies that are designed to deter and prevent counterfeits and manages investigations into suspect product, and is supported by cross functional resources within Colgate as well as by outside experts.