As a premium manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems, Sennheiser is intensifying its global commitment to fighting product piracy. The clear focus of all measures is the protection of both customer and brand. “Customers are being deceived in a criminal way with counterfeit products. With the clear intent to defraud low grade products are being sold as ‘branded’ products”, explains Volker Bartels, Speaker of the Executive Management Board. Background: The sound quality of the counterfeit versions falls far short of the strict quality standards of genuine Sennheiser products. Furthermore, because these fake products do not undergo any of the stringent quality checks of the genuine articles, damage to the user’s hearing may potentially be an issue.
Safety labelling makes authentication easier
Sennheiser protects its customers from plagiarism with latest technologies which offer maximum protection against counterfeiting and enable retailers and customers to verify authenticity. In future, Sennheiser product-packaging and the products themselves will be protected with tesa scribos® PrioSpots. These special labels offer maximum protection against counterfeiting by a combination of concealed and visible security features. The PrioSpots on Sennheiser packaging and products are linked to the manufacturer's overall brand security concept and use the connect & check system. This enables users, retailers or customs investigators to check the authenticity of a product quickly by using an internet-enabled smartphone or a notebook. The simple process involves reading the QR code printed on the packaging and transmitting the data via a secure internet connection to confirm the product’s authenticity. “The investment in a system which provides counterfeit-proof identification of our products results in effective protection for our customers and for retailers", says Volker Bartels.
Focused action against illegal online trading
The global market for counterfeit electronic products is estimated to be worth 74 billion Euro* per year. Without proactive measures to fight criminal dealer activity, the market will continue to grow. In order to effectively stem the trade of counterfeit goods on the internet, Sennheiser and OpSec Security have been working together in Europe since early 2012. On Sennheiser’s behalf the experts from OpSec search relevant internet portals for potentially suspicious products. This collaboration has been highly successful so far, and it is now due to be deployed worldwide. “Thanks to online screening we have been able to significantly reduce the volume of illegal supplies in Europe. We therefore want to use this highly effective tool in other parts of the world now“, says Volker Bartels. Sennheiser is particularly concerned about the illegal trade in Asia. With the help of online screening, the most active Asian B2B platforms are continually scanned so any illegal online auctions taking place, can be systematically stopped. “We are concentrating especially on the Asian illegal trade as a lot of counterfeits originate from there. This way, we can stop these products from reaching Europe, the USA or other parts of the world in the first place.”
Legal penalties for brand pirates
Using its own research as well as the information obtained from OpSec, Sennheiser has provided its support to international customs and investigation authorities. Therefore it is not only Sennheiser who stop these suppliers and dealers of counterfeit goods; they also potentially face prosecution for their activities. “Each year Sennheiser invests significantly into research and development in order to provide our customers with the best technology and the best possible sound“, explains Volker Bartels. “The harm done to our customers and our markets by product piracy is completely unacceptable to us. We will therefore use everything at our disposal to fight it.” In order to be on the safe side the company recommends that any customers looking to buy Sennheiser products, purchase only from retailers within the authorised dealer network.
Shaping the future of audio and creating unique sound experiences for customers – this aim unites Sennheiser employees and partners worldwide. Founded in 1945, Sennheiser is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. With 21 sales subsidiaries and long-established trading partners, the company is active in more than 50 countries and operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland, Romania and the USA. Since 2013, Sennheiser has been managed by Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the third generation of the family to run the company. In 2017, the Sennheiser Group generated turnover totaling €667.7 million.