United Nations confirms the importance of holograms in anti-counterfeiting

United Nations confirms the importance of holograms in anti-counterfeiting

In a recently published report entitled ‘Ensuring supply chain security: the role of anti-counterfeiting technology‘, the United Nations have reaffirmed that holograms remain one of the most secure technologies to fight counterfeiting.

Counterfeiting makes the headlines on a daily basis. As well as the more traditional identity papers and bank notes, counterfeiting touches a wide range of products and markets including pharmaceuticals, clothing and accessories, food, beverages and cigarettes, electronics and industrial, cosmetics and personal care as well as toys.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce, the projected value of Global Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in 2015 was $1.77 trillion*.

Counterfeit products are a risk to public health, cost jobs and are responsible for considerable economic losses for governments in the case of excisable products.

Authentication and track and trace technologies

Authentication and track and trace technologies both help in the fight against fraud.

Authentication technologies enable verification as to whether a product is genuine or fake. They, for example, include covert and overt features such as holograms, security inks, QR codes, data matrix codes, micro-text, watermarks, taggants etc.

According to the report, holograms are one of the most used technologies for ensuring product authentication. Along with other overt and covert features, they present 5 main benefits:

  • They are difficult to duplicate or forge
  • They present certain visual features that are easily identifiable without the need of special equipment
  • They usually contain covert features allowing identification utilising only specific tools
  • They are hard to re-label or reuse
  • They provide easy recognition of tampering attempts


The International Holograms Manufacturers Association (IHMA) has welcome the findings of the report which is a reminder that the fight against counterfeiting is far from being won and brands must use the technologies available to protect themselves.

The IHMA general secretary Dr Mark Deakes said:‘Holography has a key role as a highly effective, highly flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters and increasing adoption of holography reinforces the technology’s position as a pre-eminent security feature in the global anti-counterfeiting fight’.

Security holograms on items such as cigarettes, alcohol bottles, luxury accessories, clothing and degree certificates confirm the quality and origin of the products and lead to the destruction of counterfeit products.

Holograms – the versatile secure technology

Holograms can be used as an effective anti-counterfeiting feature but do you know they can integrate variable data and even be used as a marketing tool?

  1. Anti-counterfeiting
    Our holograms combine a range of up to 40 different overt, covert and visible security features. Each new design is registered, ensuring custom holograms remain unique.
  2. Variable data
    Holograms can be made interactive by adding complex variable data into the design allowing track and trace of goods from production to customer purchase.
  3. Marketing
    Holograms can be used as a data capture tool. Consumers can utilise the unique data on the hologram to authenticate their purchase online, giving brands instant access to invaluable customer data.

A member of the IHMA, Hague is renown internationally as a provider of security documents, tamper-evident labels and brand protection solutions.

Contact us now to discuss how a hologram can protect and enhance your brand.