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UK consumers trust domestic brands

News, 20 May 2016

LONDON: Authenticity is a quality brands are often told they require, especially in regard to Millennials, but few people in the UK regard brands as being authentic, although they are more likely to trust domestic brands than international ones.

Just 7% of UK consumers polled by Cohn & Wolfe, as part of its recent Authentic 100 survey of 12,000 consumers in 14 markets, described brands as "open and honest"; only Swedish consumers were more cynical, as a mere 5% agreed.

The rankings were based on three elements that those surveyed said were most important to them: how reliably a firm delivered on its promises; how well it treated customers and protected their data and privacy; and how honest and genuine they were.

The UK Authentic 20, a country breakdown of the global survey, highlighted a number of brands that one might expect to feature as well as at least one surprise.

The first three places, PR Week reported, were occupied by retailers of various stripes – John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and The Body Shop – followed by the BBC and another retailer in Boots.

The reputation of the Boots, however, has taken a hit in recent weeks, as it was accused of abusing a medicine-use review scheme in order to claim public money from the NHS and boost profits.

The Guardian related how changes in ownership – it is now owned by US pharmacy chain Walgreens – have driven a change in culture that is far removed from that which prevails at, for example, John Lewis, part of the UK's largest employee-owned business.

The next five places were taken by Lego, Debenhams, Nationwide, Dyson and Innocent. At eleventh, Amazon was the highest ranking US brand, while in 17th place Waitrose – part of the John Lewis Partnership – was the only supermarket listed.

The surprise package was Branston Pickle which was ranked in 19th place.

Data sourced from PR Week, The Guardian, Cohn & Wolfe; additional content by Warc staff