Retailers' most important assets - brand, image, people and service quality - are under threat from those who exploit the Internet.
A three-month investigation into the Web presence of the UK's top 20 retailers by law firm Tite & Lewis found 1,314 Web sites where their brands and/or reputations were abused. This ranged from misuse of logo and corporate image to fraud.
Tite & Lewis said the study suggested that many retailers were simply unaware of what was happening or that they ignored the problem in the hope that it would disappear.
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