eBay fights against counterfeit claims

eBay is responding to negative headlines this week with a two-pronged PR campaign aimed at consumers and legislators.

eBay: seeks to restore customers’ faith
eBay: seeks to restore customers’ faith

The auction giant was this week ordered to pay more than £30m to Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH for allowing fake goods to be sold on its website.

eBay's corporate PR and reputation manager Vanessa Canzini has been dealing with the media frenzy surrounding the court decision, with the help of retained agency Blue Rubicon. She said she was ‘rea­lly pleased' with the coverage, despite some negative headlines for eBay. ‘Media rep­orting has been really balanced,' said Canzini.

The site is now fronting an anti-counterfeiting campaign with NGO partner the Authentics Foundation, intellectual property body the Ind­ustry Trust and the Office of Fair Trading. ‘We want to educate consumers about how damaging it is for society, and why eBay is against it,' said Canz­ini.

Part of the consumer campaign includes eBay's involvement in the ‘Knock off Nigel' initiative, making buyers aware of copyright laws and the problems of piracy.  

The auction site has also launched a lobbying effort in Brussels, pushing for trading practices to be changed to ref­lect the increase in online shopping.

eBay is calling for the EU to modernise competition, consumer and trademark law and to drop outdated restrictions.

‘Counterfeits existed before eBay did, but we have a responsibility, so we are banging the drum here and in Brussels,' said Canzini. ‘It is both an ethical and financial imperative.'

eBay still works with Shine on its consumer PR business. The website is reaching out to the European consumer protection commissioner as well as members of the European Parliament.

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