Britain's major grocery brands have survived supermarkets’ own-label offensive thanks to advertising, claims a report published this week by the UK Advertising Association.

According to the study, carried out by market research guru Dr Stephen Buck, the majority of widely advertised brand leaders have survived the own-label challenge and continue to dominate the same markets they did thirty years back. Own-label, believes Dr Buck, may now be in decline.

His report is based on an analysis of 52 brands in 26 leading grocery categories between 1975 and 1999. Nineteen of the brand leaders in 1975 remain so today, with half of these increasing their market share against a background of massive growth in own label packaged grocery products since 1975.

The survey concludes that brand leadership has been sustained through relatively high levels of adspend and that brands with lower levels of advertising are likely to struggle or be overtaken by private label rivals.

Dr Buck’s findings were applauded by Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, who said that no premium brand owner could "ever again question the value of their advertising investment".

AA director general Andrew Brown was similarly enthusiastic: "I welcome the publication of this study and, in particular, the strong case it puts for the benefits that long-term advertising investment brings to brands."

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)