Have you been misled by copycat products?

12 April 2013
According to the 19th century proverb, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But I am not sure that some big food and toiletry brands will agree, after research from Which? revealed that a fifth of its members have bought an own-label product by mistake because it looked similar to a big brand. We’ve all been there, a mad dash around the supermarket and you pick up what you think is Head & Shoulders or Coco Pops - two of the products which have similar own-brand packaging – only to find when you get home it is the retailer’s ‘copycat’ product. You might feel a little foolish but it will have certainly saved you a few pennies. Is it really that bad that own-brand products are using the same colours, images and shapes as the market-leaders? Of the fifth of Which? members who had this problem only 38 per cent were annoyed. However, although own-brand products can provide good value, surely there is an obligation to not mislead shoppers into buying an imitation rather than the real thing?
Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Falmer, Brighton
£33,797 rising to £40,322 per annum
University of Sussex
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