Fraud: A unique holograph system for protecting wine bottles

How can wine sales be protected from forgery? The company Tesa Scribos® has come up with a unique, innovative solution based on a holograph system combined with a mobile application.


Combating forgery

20% - that is the percentage of wine bottles that reportedly fall victim to forgery worldwide. In China, the figure rises to 40%. For wine growers, the scale of the problem is daunting. A cursory analysis of the difference between production volumes and sales is enough to reveal that something is wrong. As Laurent Ponsot of the eponymous Burgundy estate says emphatically: “Take the 1949 Clos de la Roche by Domaine Ponsot: there are probably only about 30 or so bottles left, so how is it that between 150 and 200 have been sold over the past twenty years?” Although wine growers are in the frontline, the issue is also one of concern for consumers who have to try and avoid being caught out and falling for forgeries, via online wine merchants for instance.


Tesa Scribos®: a unique hologram protection solution

Solutions for preventing fraud are becoming increasingly common in the wine market. They include the Bubble Seal™ by Prooftag, for instance, or basic QR codes with various degrees of protection. According to Damien Guille, Tesa Scribos® sales manager for South-West Europe: “QR codes are fashionable but from a security perspective, you cannot base a system solely on a QR code. Although each one is unique, it is not secure.” Tesa Scribos® has therefore come up with an innovative solution based on holographic protection. But how does it work?


The Tesa Scribos® seal

Bottles protected by Tesa Scribos® carry a special label containing a QR code, a unique hologram and other information. The label’s primary distinguishing feature is its hologram image, but we’ll come back to that. Its second defining feature is that the labels cannot be removed from the bottles without being torn, hence they cannot be used for other bottles. Tesa Scribos® has made sure that its labels are protected against all attempts to remove them, including use of heat or water. Growers therefore apply a proper seal to their wine bottles.


The unique hologram

A hologram is the famous three dimensional image that features, for instance, on credit cards. Although they can be copied in multiple series, it is virtually impossible to copy different holograms individually. This is Tesa Scribos®’ strong point: it offers unique holograms for each bottle so that genuine bottles can be identified with the naked eye.


Double checking online using a dedicated app

The Tesa Scribos® system goes a step further: the QR code can be scanned using a mobile app allowing users to access an online visualisation of the hologram. You can therefore check whether the hologram on the bottle is exactly the same as the one the producer originally used. This double checking system provides an extra guarantee that the product is genuine.

So how much does it cost? The standard protection solution, already used in the Bordeaux region, costs from 45 to 55 euros for 1,000 bottles.


A solution geared to wine consumers and producers, but also to customs officers

The Tesa Scribos® solution has been designed for all industry stakeholders, from the producer who wants to reassure his/her clients to the consumer who wants to check the bottle he/she is holding is indeed the genuine article. Even customs officers are using the Tesa Scribos® system to check bottles are genuine as they cross borders.


The gateway to new improved marketing solutions

The Tesa Scribos® solution also gives producers access to a whole new range of marketing tools. Once the code has been scanned by the consumer, the bottle is recognised and the producer can then automatically provide a raft of complementary information, including the wine’s origin, how it was made and the story behind it.


A bottle tracking solution

Last but not least, Tesa Scribos® is also an excellent way of monitoring a bottle’s journey, via an extranet website: bottle scan dates can be tracked and the bottles can be geolocated, for instance, providing a full array of statistical data on those precious bottles as they travel from place to place!


Are you concerned about fraud involving wine bottles?