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Are consumers being tricked to buy own-label products?

15 April 2013

Research carried out by Which? found more than 150 own-label products had ‘borrowed’ elements of their packaging from branded competitors.

It found one-fifth of its members had accidently bought an own-brand version of a favourite brand at least once; with a further 18% deliberately buying own-label products because it resembled the branded equivalent.

It’s an offence under Consumer Protection Regulations to promote a product similar to a product made by a particular manufacturer in such a manner as deliberately to mislead the consumer into believing the product is made by that same manufacturer.

Currently a company needs to persuade a regulator to take enforcement action if this offence has been committed, and the appetite for that has traditionally been low.

There has been lobbying for many years for a private right of redress where this offence has been committed. This research may assist companies in highlighting that it is imperative something is done to plug this gap as brands continue to be exploited.

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