Hologram packs for UK cigarette brand

14 05 2008

Imperial Tobacco has developed a special edition holographic pack of Lambert & Butler to mark the cigarette marque’s 10 years as the UK’s biggest FMCG brand.

Iain Watkins, trade communications manager at Imperial Tobacco, said: “To stay at the number one spot for ten years is no mean feat and to mark this achievement we have launched special edition holographic packs.

“It is also the first time a registered hologram has been used on a tobacco product, setting a new standard for product packaging.”

It is not clear if the move is made to discourage counterfeiting of the cigarette packs of Lambert & Butler that must be hurting the manufacturer’s business or just a publicity stunt!


Counterfeit currency with fake holograms in Botswana

6 05 2008

After the fake Euros by Hologram Tam that have been a cause of worry in the European Union for long, the Bank of Botswana has issued an advisory to the general public that there are fake P100 and P50 bank notes in circulation, which are photo/scanned copies of genuine bank notes and thus, metallic features such as the hologram and windowed security thread appear as black/grey or brown patches on the surface of the counterfeits. It is noticed that counterfeiters have applied a thin film of a silver coloured substance on the hologram to give it a shiny effect like that on a genuine note.

The genuine bank notes are said to have a hologram that is silver coloured dual-image metallic patch with an image of the zebra and the number 100 on the P100 banknote hologram, which do not all appear at the same time, but switch from one to the other when the banknote is tilted and small diamonds appear in the background.

Furthermore, the images of the kingfisher and the number 50 on the P50 banknote hologram do not appear at the same time, but switch from one to the other when the banknote is tilted, with small kingfishers appearing in the background.

Holograms with new microscopic lettering

18 01 2008

Dai Nippon Printing Co. of Tokyo, Japan will market a new hologram label that combines 3-D computer graphic images with microscopic lettering.

Branded products use hologram labels to prove their authenticity, but in recent years the technology of forgery has advanced so far that it is difficult to distinguish real hologram labels from bogus hologram labels just by looking at the 3-D CG image.

To help people identify real labels, Dai Nippon Printing will incorporate the word GENUINE in microscopic lettering into the hologram. The letters are drawn with a line width of only 50 microns and are technically difficult to print, but readily viewable using a magnifying glass.

Dai Nippon Printing will charge 5 yen apiece for orders of 2 million labels and hopes to generate revenue of 3 billion yen (US$28 million) with this business during the next three years.

Fake Euro alert in Cyprus

15 01 2008

Cyprus Police Department is in contact with Europol, as part of efforts to infiltrate a gang bringing forged euros and fake credit cards into Cyprus.

The general public has been alerted to be on the lookout for fake euros, with 24 cases of counterfeit currency notes having been reported to the police since the introduction of the currency to Cyprus.

The European Central Bank has emphasized that various security features have been incorporated into the euro notes that will help in recognizing a genuine banknote from a counterfeit eoru note. These features include:

  • The raised print. Special printing processes give banknotes their unique feel. The ink should feel raised or thicker in the main image, the lettering and the value numerals on the front of the banknotes.
  • Additional tactile marks for the visually impaired are included on the bottom edge of the €200 banknote and on the right-hand edge of the €500. The paper consists of pure cotton, which feels crisp and firm (not limp or waxy).
  • When a banknote is held up against light: the watermark, the security thread and the see-through number will then be visible. All three features can be seen from the front and back of genuine banknotes.
  • The security thread is embedded in the banknote paper. Holding the banknote against the light shows the thread as a dark stripe. The word ‘EURO’ and the value can be seen in tiny letters on the stripe. In the hologram one can see perforations which form the symbol. One can also see small numbers showing the value.
  • When the banknote is tilted, on the front one can see the shifting image on the hologram. On the back, one can see the glossy stripe (on the €5, €10 and €20 banknotes) or the colour-changing number (on the €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes), from purple to olive green or brown.

According to the ECB in the second half of 2007 a total of 296,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation.

Hologram Tam – The Legend

29 10 2007

Thomas McAnea, 58, a Scotsman spearheaded one of the most sophisticated counterfeiting operations ever seen in Britain, producing fake banknotes that were found across the country.

Thomas is known in the criminal community for his ability to create accurate forgeries which earned him his reputation and his nickname – Tam the Hologram.

Magic fingers and an unerring eye gave “Hologram Tam”, one of the best forgers in Europe, the skills to produce counterfeit banknotes so authentic that when he was arrested nearly £700,000 worth were in circulation.

Thomas McAnea, 58, who was jailed for six years and four months yesterday, was the kingpin of a professional operation based in Glasgow that, according to police, had the capacity to produce £2 million worth of fake notes a day – enough potentially tom destabilise the British economy. More may remain out there undetected.

He had evaded a long prison sentence in 2000 on a technicality after being caught with £1.6 million of counterfeit money.

McAnea could have been living in a fabulous mansion in the Glasgow suburbs, like the drug barons to whom he was a service industry. But the expert forger of holograms and watermarks had no such aspirations. He was unambitious and nondescript, with a serious drink problem. Police sources say that he appeared to have barely two pennies to rub together. Instead, Hologram Tam seemed motivated by the satisfaction of a job well done. – Times Online

The gang developed a system which had the potential to produce £1 million in forgeries every two to three hours.

The raid on the premises in St George’s Road, Maryhill, in January, uncovered what police said was like a “scene from a film”, with blank sheets of paper at one end of the press, the printing plates ready to go and test sheets already produced.

Other raids across the city resulted in the recovery of thousands of pounds of counterfeit euros. There were also fake drivers’ licences, passports and other documents. – Scotsman.com

Holograms to prevent disabled parking badges abuse in Britain

15 09 2007

The British government has announced measures to prevent people from abusing disabled parking badges by introducing holograms on the badges, thus, making them harder to duplicate.

The Department for Transport is also to make Blue Badges available to very young severely disabled children and people with upper limb disabilities. The changes will come into force next month and include a hologram to make the badges harder to copy. Campaigners have welcomed the news but say that more needs to be done to make the scheme work properly. – BBC

Heat Shrink Hologram Labels to help Wine industry

2 09 2007

Sleever International, a pioneer and innovator in packing, labeling, customization, tamper-evident seals,  has once again unveiled an innovative holographic solution that could prove to be a boon to the wine and spirits industry that is plagued by rampant counterfeiting across the world.

As per studies by Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), alcohol and beverages are among the most counterfeited articles in the world trade. As per a study by OECD, counterfeit and pirated goods across national borders may have amounted to US$200bn (€148bn) in 2005. Interestingly, actual levels could surpass the reported figures by several hundred billion dollars, when factors not covered by the study are taken into consideration. These factors include domestically produced and consumed counterfeit products, and pirated goods transmitted over the Internet.


The new technology introduced by Sleever International is expected will to greatly benefit the food and beverage industry so as to ensure its customers the authenticity of the products, as counterfeiting can undermine the consumer’s trust and tarnish the image of the branded product. Many companies in the pharmaceutical, perfume, cosmetics, food and homecare products are customers of Sleever International.

The new Holosleeve for wine and spirits bottles using three cutting-edge technologies has been introduced by Sleever International. The Holosleeve is heat-shrink labels with integrated holograms will help the wine and spirits industry to counter counterfeiting and forgery. Besides being of particular use in the wine and spirits industry, the technology could find application in the perfume, cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors.
Holosleeve is shrink-wrapped and embossed with a 3D motif, giving each bottle a unique pattern. Every label features a hologram that is destroyed once the consumer opens the bottle, resulting in a multi-technology innovative solution adapted to each customer and each product. This makes the product practically inimitable, not only to effectively fight against forgeries and substitutions, but also grey markets because of the possibility of integrating traceable tags.