Counterfeiting is an age old problem and is probably more prevalent today than it has ever been. For example, here at Oast House Media we are always banging on about image use and copyright – either protecting your original work or using someone elses. We’ve seen many cases (no pun intended) of clients coming to us with images and sometimes text copied directly from a competitors website in clear breach of UK copyright law. The whole subject is a minefield and a very expensive one if you get it wrong.
One of the earliest examples of a company trying to protect their produce was the famous Rioja wine brand. In the 19th century they famously won top awards for their Camilo Riojas and became the preferred wine supplier to King Alfonso XII.
As you can imagine this was a counterfeiters dream so to protect the label and the cork seal they invented the now well recognised gold wire cage. If the cage wire was damaged or broken – it’s been tampered with.
We see this same security used today with the shrink wrap seals on bottle tops added to the labeling design. Clever, low cost and over time setting the product above its competition. I’m sure Camilo’s Riojas were compromised by some clever counterfeiters and today we can say the same about most popular products but it was a very good deterrent for its time.