Brands overplaying their Britishness in a bid for your cash

26 November 2012

Our friends over at Which?!? have been getting their knickers in a twist again, but this time it’s because naughty companies are ‘suggesting’ their products are British, or made in Britain, when actually they are not. And we all know how suggestible consumers are.

Coming off the back of the biggest ever boom year for Union Jack (yes I know it should be Flag) manufacturers, Which!”£$%^&*() investigated a number of ‘misleading’ adverts to see whether the public were genuinely misled.

They focussed on Rimmel’s “truly British” range called “The Brit Collection”, who also often use a British flag made out of lipstick in campaigns, Accurist’s “Timeless British Classic” watch and the “most British of sporting saloons”, the MG6 Magnette. Unfortunately the truly British make up is actually made in France and Spain, the watch is made in China and Japan and the MG is mostly made in China.

Which/ asked some normal consumers what they thought about the ad campaigns. Eighty-three per cent said the advert implied the product was made in Britain, and 68 per cent said they would feel misled if they bought the product and only later discovered it was made somewhere else.

Which? shopping expert, Matt Clear, said: “Consumer products are often made up of parts from all over the world, which can make it hard to define exactly where something is from.”

“Most of the companies whose advertisements we examined have a connection with the country mentioned – the product was designed or partially made there, or the brand has heritage in that country – and none contained explicit claims about where the products were made. But it is clear that the majority of members we asked felt confused or misled by them. Our findings show more needs to be done before you can feel confident about where products actually come from.”

Rimmel said its products are designed in the UK, but that it never claimed they were made here. MG said its advertisement was designed to emphasise the value for money offered by the car compared to rivals produced by German manufacturers. Accurist said it was keen to promote a British brand, while not making any claims its watches are made in this country.

So do you feel dirty and misled? Or did you assume they were made using cheaper labour from elsewhere anyway? Do you even care about the nationality of your purchases?


  • Alexis
    Only old duffers that drive old Rovers and stand up watching the queen's speech care about Britishness and union jacks.
  • Issac M.
    Popquiz. Nationality of HotUkDeals?
  • Mr M.
    The problem with anything that says made in Britain, everything is made in China, they just assemble a tiny part of the product in this country to be able to boast about how British this product is...
  • william's h.
    blah blah .... 'Union Jack (yes I know it should be Flag)' - no it shouldn't.
  • Gabriella
    What is British. Even M and S don't sell anything made in Britain. It's just one big con.
  • Dal
    Actually 'William's Hakespear' you arrogant dickhead, it's only called the Union Jack when at sea, at all other times it is called the Uniom Flag. Get educated before you criticise!
  • Dal
    Actually 'William's Hakespear' you arrogant dickhead, it's only called the Union Jack when at sea, at all other times it is called the Union Flag. Get educated before you criticise!

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