The Real Deal marks 10 years

National Markets Group ‘Fake Free Markets’ collaboration marks 10-year anniversary with a week of enforcement success

  • National Markets Group (NMG) ‘Fake Free Markets’ collaboration marks 10-years of enforcement success.
  • 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.

Members of the
UK’s National Market Group for IP Protection (NMG) have marked the 10th
anniversary of its Real Deal ‘Fake Free Markets’ charter with a planned
programme of activity, emphasising the effectiveness of the partnership.

Since 2009, more than 500 local markets have been encouraged to sign up voluntarily to the Real Deal ‘Fake Free Markets’ Charter with their local Trading Standards service, committing to stamp out rogue traders and counterfeit products and in addition more than 100 Trading Standards authorities have signed up for NMG’s online Real Deal toolkit to reduce the availability of counterfeit and pirated goods on social media. Alongside IP rights owners and enforcement bodies, the NMG partnership has resulted in seizure of tens of thousands of counterfeit and pirated products, ensuring that consumers are protected from poor quality, untested and often harmful merchandise.

During a week of activity earlier this
month – the result of months of careful planning – NMG members took part in 9
raid actions across the UK seizing thousands of counterfeit and often
potentially unsafe products including electrical goods, cosmetics, clothing,
footwear, luxury goods, perfume, watches and accessories from traders operating
at physical markets and on social media platforms. In addition, Border Force
officers at Heathrow airport carried out an intensification exercise which
detained a further 35,000 counterfeit goods including labels of well-known
brands which would have been used to manufacture counterfeit garments and big
name brands organised a coordinated removal of thousands of infringing products
being sold on on-line market places and on social media.

Established in 2008, the NMG is made up of
a partnership of law
enforcement, government and industry stakeholders, and
throughout the week a range of these partners including Walsall, Glasgow, Tower Hamlets, Newham,
Brent and Harrow and Swansea Trading Standards, as well as National and
Regional Trading Standards Teams, Police, Border Force and industry
organisations such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) and its brand members
have  supported each other to reduce the availability of counterfeit and
pirated goods being sold on physical and on-line market places.

Supported by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) and through the Real Deal initiative, the NMG is proactive in supporting awareness raising of shoppers and legitimate business operating at markets, car boot sales and online selling channels. In 2018, working in partnership with the National Trading Standards eCrime Team (NTSeCT), a specific programme was extended to support trading standards services in tackling the trade in fakes on digital buy and sell groups.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair, National Trading Standards, said:

“The commitment of the NMG partnership to combatting counterfeit crime, both in market environments and in the digital arena, has proved extremely . The dedication of all teams involved in the partnership is to be commended. “Not only can consumers, traders and local businesses be reassured that a Real Deal member market is a safe place to buy and sell, the message to anyone tempted to trade in counterfeits is loud and clear.”

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 Trading Standards services to sign up to the initiative.

More information on the Real Deal campaign and its 10th anniversary celebrations can be found at