Amazon Gives Brands Power to Delete Counterfeit Listings

Amazon.com has launched Project Zero, a program that enables brands to designate counterfeit product listings on the e-tailer’s site for removal. Amazon is providing each product with a unique code that can be scanned to determine whether a product is authentic or counterfeit. The online retail giant launched a new anticounterfeiting program, called Project Zero, that it says would better protect brands from scammers by letting them designate listings for removal, rather than going through a cumbersome reporting process with Amazon.

The company has been testing it with roughly 15 brands for a few months, and will now start inviting selected additional companies to participate. Amazon said it wants all brand owners to join the program eventually but declined to specify a timeline.

As part of Project Zero, Amazon also is including a tool that generates a unique code for each product unit that the brand can print onto existing packaging or attach onto items using a sticker. The codes can then be scanned to ensure a product’s authenticity when it enters an Amazon warehouse.

In shifting some monitoring duties and authority to brands themselves, Amazon is taking an unusual step. Other tech companies use outside contractors to help monitor their platforms but don’t generally let users remove content. Amazon, for example, has required brand owners to report suspected counterfeits to an internal team that would investigate and decide whether or not to remove them.

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