Cengage, an education and technology company, has announced a major initiative to fight the growing problem of counterfeit print course materials, which is estimated to cost the company between $70 million to $100 million annually. Beginning with shipments currently underway to on-campus, off-campus and online retailers, Cengage print products will include a unique certification seal developed by an expert third-party certification company. The seal includes a QR code and one-off indicators that verify the product's authenticity.
In cooperation with the Education Publisher Enforcement Group (EPEG), Cengage recently reviewed the inventories of several online sellers to determine how much of their inventory was counterfeit. The results were startling: for portions of their inventory over 75 percent of the books were counterfeit, while some had 100 percent of the titles offered for sale being counterfeit.
Moving forward, the certification seal will allow sales partners and customers to easily confirm they have an authentic Cengage product, avoiding the potential for incorrect or inferior class materials. Students, professors and retailers need simply scan the QR code, which will take them to a Cengage website to verify the one-off indicator that the product is legitimate.
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