Underwriters Laboratories recently unveiled their latest holographic label. The gold hologram will replace the silver hologram that UL has used for the last 12 years. The UL holographic label is used on 32 common consumer product where the risk of counterfeiting is greater, including power supply cords, nightlights and ceiling fans. Almost 20 billion products carry the UL logo, including 1 billion using in the holographic form.  The new hologram is designed with higher levels of security in mind. It borrows technology from banknotes including color changing ink and a series of overt and covert security measures designed into the hologram. One of them is a UL symbol that disappears when viewed through the viewing windows on an authenticator card (think 3-D specs!).

The implications for manufacturers go beyond the cost of the labels and have brought some pushback from industry as my colleague Alex Boesenberg reported in a recent blog.  UL is responding to industry's concerns by giving manufacturers more time to implement the change and ensuring there will be an adequate supply of the gold holographic labels. Some manufacturers are still unconvinced that the benefits of these anticounterfeiting measures outweigh the additional cost for the holographic label.


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