Amazon, we’re constantly working with industry experts and associations to educate consumers about the dangers of purchasing counterfeit products. From this perspective, raising awareness among the younger generation on the risks involved in counterfeit goods is an important step toward building a safer future for consumers.

This commitment has led us and INDICAM, an Italian association working to protect intellectual property, to conceive and organise a challenge for the 600+ students of venture builder H-FARM, called Challenge the Fake. The students were asked to suggest concepts for communication and marketing campaigns targeting their peers, in order to tackle the sale of counterfeit items and promote the protection of intellectual property. After the initiative was kicked off in February 2024, the students have been supported through coaching and mentoring activities by SHADO, the creative agency of H-FARM, Amazon, and INDICAM, with online meetings, useful materials, and data shared. The goal was to create an original and innovative project aligned with the goals of the challenge itself, with a short time-to-market and clear KPIs.

The awarded project, which was also presented at this year’s INDICAM Forum before an audience of more than 200 attendees, is titled “DEFAKE Contest” and consists of the proposal to launch a social media contest for young rappers who are asked to highlight the importance of purchasing original items through freestyle sessions and actual tracks, making the purchase of counterfeit goods "uncool". The jury that determined the winning project also included an official from the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy, Simona Marzetti.

“Engaging young people and looking at innovation trends are major goals in the fight against counterfeiting,” said Juna Shehu, Managing Director of INDICAM. “Monitoring the e-commerce world is essential for us today, therefore collaborating with players that are committed to our mission — like Amazon, which has been a member of INDICAM since November 2023 — has a strategic value.”

“This initiative confirms our commitment to supporting industry associations and institutions in the fight against counterfeiting, which also involves activities aimed at protecting, informing and raising awareness among customers, and in this case young people in particular,” said Alessandro Nicolis, Amazon’s Head of External Relations, Trust & Safety, Europe. “In 2023, Amazon invested over $1.2 billion and employed over 15,000 people, including machine learning scientists, software developers and expert investigators dedicated to protecting customers, brands, selling partners and our online store from counterfeiting, frauds and other forms of abuse.”

“For our college students, challenges are a perfect occasion to deal with actual business cases and put the notions acquired in the classroom into practice. Their involvement in this initiative in particular is a clear example of how young people are willing and able to turn their awareness into effective actions, with an extraordinary ability to grasp and respond to the needs of the market in a very fast-changing world,” said Riccardo Donadon, founder of H-FARM.

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'Challenge the Fake' kick-off event at H-FARM.
Presentation of the four pillars of Amazon's brand protection strategy.
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'Challenge the Fake' participants.
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Representatives of Amazon, INDICAM and H-FARM.
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Winners of 'Challenge the Fake' attend INDICAM's annual forum.

Our commitment

Amazon’s participation in this project reflects our active role in ensuring we offer customers and selling partners a reliable purchasing and selling experience every day. Our approach against counterfeit is based on preventive controls, innovative brand protection tools made available for brands, and collaboration with law enforcement agencies through our Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU).

We will keep innovating to pursue our goal of being Earth’s most customer-centric company, through which people can discover and purchase the widest possible selection of safe and authentic products.