Fed up with fakes of its shiny ski puffers, Moncler is going on the offensive against counterfeiters with a consumer-activated authentication system that it has implemented in its spring collection.

This story first appeared in the April 2, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The authentication system, developed by Italy’s Certilogo with Accenture, provides each garment with a label featuring a unique identification code as well as two telephone numbers and Certilogo’s Web site. The consumer — or anyone along the supply chain — can call, text or go online to quickly verify the authenticity of the garment and the collection to which it belongs, by providing the Certilogo code. The numerical code in the label is generated by an encryption method so it is neither predictable nor repeating.

When contacted with a code, the system asks the user a series of questions about the garment. The answers are checked against data about the garment’s designated journey through the supply chain and a description of the garment. If it deems the garment authentic, Certilogo attempts to collect market data from the reassured consumer, who is offered marketing material. But if the garment is in doubt, the user can choose to give information to help locate possible counterfeits or stolen goods and identify production and retail partners possibly involved.

Certilogo is an Italian company founded in 2005. Its authentication program is available in different versions tailored to garments, jewels, watches, accessories, car parts, toys, electronics and high-end consumables. Some of its clients use systems designed for customs agents, not consumers, said Daniele Sommavilla, vice president of sales. Clients of the consumer program include Galliano and Ciacci Piccolomini for Brunello wines.

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