IP Crime and Enforcement Report 19/20 highlights the importance of combining ‘behavioural change amongst consumers’ and ‘enforcement’.

In her introduction to this year’s IP Crime and Enforcement Report, Amanda Solloway MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Science, Research and Innovation) notes, “2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges and the dedication illustrated by the practitioner-led testimonies and the statistical analysis in this report testify to the resilience, flexibility and commitment of the UK IP Crime Group members. As we reset our agendas so that achieving behavioural change amongst consumers is added to deterrence, enforcement and evidence-gathering as our main priorities.”

The Report includes contributions from the National Markets Group for IP Protection and its public awareness initiative, the Real Deal Campaign for Fake-Free Markets (pages 36 and 49 respectively).

The NMG and Real Deal were highlighted in the Report’s chapter: IP Crime Today: Overview – The Scale and Scope of IP Crime (chapter 2, page 14):

“Contributions from National Trading Standards, the National Markets Group for IP Protection and Real Deal point to the development of efficient, coordinated, well documented interventions, delivered by experience and knowledgeable experts throughout the UK. One the most significant successes in this field has been engagement with the ‘Real Deal Charter’, with Manchester City Council celebrating 10 years of successful partnership between Trading Standards Officers and market traders in December 2019. The vitality of this scheme was demonstrated as Dudley Council entered the partnership in 2019, joining more than 500 participatory markets throughout the UK.” 

Read the full report here: IP Crime and Enforcement Report 19/20

Top tips on how to avoid falling for fake goods

Celia Cox’s article in The Edinburgh Tab provides sound advice for anyone tempted by a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ bargain.

Can you spot which watch is fake? Answer at the foot of this article . . .

Ever wondered how on earth you managed to get so lucky and find a bargain Louis Vuitton handbag or affordable Gucci sunglasses on eBay? Well I’m sorry to break it to you, but it was probably a fake. That’s the unfortunate first rule of spotting fake designer goods: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you’re now frantically re-thinking every purchase you’ve ever made, don’t despair. There are campaigns out there fighting the sale of counterfeit goods on a large scale, such as The Real Deal Campaign for Fake-Free Markets and The Anti-Counterfeit Group (ACG), but by learning how to spot and avoid fake items, you can protect yourself.

Read the full article at The Tab . . . .


Photo courtesy of The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (www.a-cg.org)

So which was the fake watch? Answer: both of them!


Real Deal: helping markets to give an added assurance to customers and traders


During the Covid-19 crisis, the provision of food and other essential supplies by those markets that have been able to remain open has demonstrated their value to local communities.

Now, as more retail venues reopen, the Real Deal is supporting NABMA’s campaign to make sure that markets are back at the heart of UK cities, towns and communities, providing a safe and fair environment in which to shop and to trade.

What is the Real Deal and how does it benefit markets?

The Real Deal programme helps market operators give an added assurance to their customers and traders that the location is free from the sale of counterfeit goods and other illegal products. Over the past ten years, over 500 markets have signed the Real Deal Charter with their local trading standards service.

Signing the Charter is a powerful PR opportunity, demonstrating that the market and local trading standards are working together to combat the sale of fake goods – protecting shoppers, legitimate traders and the wider community. More information is at www.realdealmarkets.co.uk

Let people know you’re a Real Deal market

If your market has already signed the Charter, now is a good time to remind everyone. You can use the Real Deal logo on your website, signage, banners etc. And you can get the message out via social media, follow and tag us on Instagram at @realdealmarkets and Twitter @realdeal_market and we’ll follow you back and retweet.

We also have a supply of printed posters available to Real Deal markets while stocks last (pictured below). The poster artwork is also available for markets to print out themselves. To request posters, artwork or the logo, contact details are below.

Join in!

Or, if your market has not yet signed the Real Deal Charter and you would like to come on board, contact us and we will be happy to talk it through with you. It’s a very straightforward process!

In these difficult times, markets need all the resources they can get to demonstrate their value to local communities. Being part of the Real Deal can be a useful part of your message to your local authority and to your community at large.





The theme of partnership in action underpins the Real Deal campaign, which, since its inception by the National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG) in 2009, has been funded by IP rights owners and their representatives. In 2019-2020, these include: the BPI, the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, P&G, Palmer Biggs IP Solicitors, the Premier League, React, Sky, Superdry, Surelock, Ted Baker, WRI Group and other brand members of the ACG. Their financial support has ensured the campaign’s longevity over the past decade and underpins its sustainability for the future.

Furthermore, the campaign is endorsed by all the key stakeholders who have an interest in ensuring fake-free trading, including the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), Trading Standards Scotland, the National Trading Standards e-Crime Team (NTSeCT), the IPO and by industry groups representing the interests of IP rights owners, market operators (NABMA) and market traders (NMTF).

Thanks to the long-standing support of our sponsors and partners, the Real Deal marked its 10th anniversary in 2019, making it one of the longest-running IP protection campaigns in the UK. We are now looking forward to the next ten years and beyond! To become involved, contact info@realdealmarkets.co.uk


Consumer Empowerment Alliance poster is the ‘Real Deal’

The Consumer Empowerment Alliance (CEA), a section of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, aspires to educate and empower all consumers on their rights. Over the last few years, a series of powerful posters has been produced for use by trading standards on a range of consumer protection issues from flat rentals to online dating. In December 2019, the CEA chose the Real Deal as the theme for a poster to keep shoppers safe from fake goods both at physical markets and online.



During the current coronavirus crisis, the Real Deal office remains available for contact via telephone and/or email. If you have any questions about the campaign, please email info@realdealmarkets.co.uk or telephone 01943 609247. We will look forward to assisting you now and in the future to help ensure that markets remain free from fake goods, protecting shoppers and supporting legitimate businesses.


Keeping shoppers safe from rogue traders and counterfeits: 10th anniversary of Real Deal ‘Fake Free Markets’ Charter

• National Markets Group (NMG) Real Deal ‘Fake Free Markets’ campaign reaches 10-year anniversary.
• More than 500 markets have voluntarily signed the ‘Real Deal’ charter through Trading Standards.
• The campaign protects shoppers, genuine traders and local businesses from impact of counterfeit crime.

Shoppers across the UK are now increasingly likely to enjoy a genuine purchase from their local market, thanks to a consumer-friendly ‘Fake-Free Markets’ charter which is seeing its 10th anniversary this week.

An initiative of the National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG), the Real Deal ‘Fake Free Markets’ Charter reassures consumers that they can expect to buy only genuine brands and quality goods when they shop at any local market, car boot sale or selling group displaying the ‘Real Deal’ logo. Since 2009, more than 500 local markets have signed up voluntarily to the charter via their local Trading Standards service, helping to stamp out rogue traders and potentially harmful counterfeit products.

The NMG is made up of a partnership of law enforcement, government and industry stakeholders, supported by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA).

Patricia Lennon, National Coordinator of the ‘Real Deal’ Campaign for the NMG, said: “The Real Deal charter has proved to be a huge reassurance for shoppers. We cannot praise highly enough the commitment we have seen from markets and Trading Standards across the UK who have jointly signed up to the charter to protect their customers from buying untested, poor quality, potentially unsafe counterfeit products.

“In displaying the ‘Real Deal’ logo, a market reassures its customers that it is a safe place to buy and sell. It also sends a strong ‘keep out’ message to any would-be traders in counterfeits who have no scruples when it comes to selling sub-standard products.”

Graham Mogg, Chair of the NMG, said: “Counterfeit products are not only bad news for consumers, but also for legitimate, hard-working local business owners who risk losing sales.

“When counterfeits find their way into a market environment, the revenue goes to the black market rather than the economy. The trade in fakes is frequently found to be linked to organised crime – something that would horrify most shoppers or traders if they knew.”

Although a large number of outlets have signed up to the scheme, the NMG is using this 10th anniversary milestone to urge more markets to join the initiative.

More information on the Real Deal campaign and its 10th anniversary celebrations can be found at www.realdealmarkets.co.uk.

Continue reading

Dudley says no to fakes – and welcomes the Real Deal

On 17 October 2019, nine markets and shopping centres in Dudley borough joined forces in a pledge to stamp out fake and counterfeit goods being sold in the borough. Representatives from Dudley Market; Dudley and Halesowen Plaza Malls; Cornbow Centre, Halesowen; Brierley Hill Indoor Market; Crown Centre and Ryemarket, Stourbridge; Merry Hill Centre and Stourbridge Farmers Market have all signed up to the Real Deal Charter. By pledging, they are reaffirming their commitment that fake and other illicit goods are not welcome on their stalls or in their shops.

Read more here . . . Continue reading


Front row, Mike Walsh and Dolores Riordan from Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards sign the charter. Back row Councillors NinaJeffries, Jackie Hook (Devon County Councillor for Newton Abbot North) and Councillor Rufus Gilbert.

At the launch, Market Manager, Mike Walsh and trader Diane Smith talk about the benefits of the Real Deal Charter. Watch the video here – https://youtu.be/Fdqst1b0KW8

Newton Abbot Market is committed to fake-free trading and has signed the Real Deal National Markets Charter with Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service. By signing the charter, the market and its stallholders are reaffirming their commitment that fake and other illicit goods are not welcome.

The Teignbridge District Council-owned market includes both the indoor and outdoor town centre markets and the weekday food hall.

Currently there are more than 500 markets across the country that have signed the voluntary charter. The charter provides guidance, information and promotional support to trading standards and market operators to ensure that markets are free of counterfeit and other illegal goods

Trading standards has a statutory responsibility to protect consumers from the sale of illegal goods.

Counterfeit and illicit goods are often of inferior quality, and in most cases unsafe as they have not gone through the same rigorous safety checks that legitimate goods go through. Their sale can damage consumer confidence and legitimate businesses, because they infringe existing intellectual property rights.

Mike Walsh, Market Manager said: “It is important for our customers to know that they are purchasing good quality products that are safe and reasonably priced. When the opportunity arose to be part of the Real Deal Campaign we welcomed it, the sale of fake and illicit goods can have an adverse impact on business and reputation and it is important that customers can shop here with confidence.”

Continue reading