Amazon has advised customers to throw away Align nutritional supplements sold on site by third parties, because they're probably fake. These supplements are officially sold by the Proctor & Gamble brand.
While counterfeits are not a problem that's unique to Amazon, its large and growing marketplace means that it is highly vulnerable to this, and the task of policing its third-party sellers is becoming more challenging.
Earlier this year, it launched a new program to combat counterfeits on the website by working with brands.
Amazon is advising customers to throw away Align nutritional supplements bought on its site after discovering that the products could be fake.
"If you still have this product, we recommend that you stop using it immediately and dispose of the item," Amazon wrote in an email to customers, according to Wired. Amazon informed these customers that they would be fully refunded for the item.
Align supplements are officially sold by Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods conglomerate. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment but told Wired that it was aware of the situation and had been informed that Amazon is now only selling Align product that has been received directly from P&G manufacturing facilities.
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Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider for comment on the incident but in a statement to Wired said that it investigates every claim of potential counterfeit "thoroughly" and often in partnership with brands.
"In the rare instance where a bad actor gets through, we take swift action, including removing the item for sale, permanently banning bad actors, pursuing legal action, and working with law enforcement when appropriate," Amazon wrote in the statement.
While counterfeits are not a problem that's unique to Amazon, its large and growing marketplace means that it is highly vulnerable to fakes, and the art of policing its third-party sellers is becoming more challenging.
In February, Amazon launched Project Zero, a new program to combat counterfeits on its website by working with brands.
"Our aim is that customers always receive authentic goods when shopping on Amazon," Dharmesh M. Mehta, Amazon's VP of consumer trust, said in a statement at the time. "Project Zero builds on our long-standing work and investments in this area. It allows brands to work with us to leverage our combined strengths to move quickly and at scale to drive counterfeits to zero."
The tools to detect counterfeits via Project Zero are only available to brands that are registered on its brand registry. This is also an invite-only service for brands.
One registered, brands have the power to remove any counterfeit listing they find without having to report it to Amazon. They also have the option to provide Amazon with key data about their brand such as logos and trademarks, Amazon will then scan product listings using this information to look for suspected counterfeits.
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