Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Boots are among retailers accused of launching an avalanche of copycat products deliberately designed to ride on the back of familiar brands.
The British Brands Group this week claimed there had been a 60% increase in the past year in the number of new identikit own-label products. Among examples in its report is Tesco’s mySenses, a new shampoo range bearing an uncanny resemblance to Clairol’s Herbal Essences.
Boots was named as a persistent producer of copycat brands, while Sainsbury’s was said to have produced a lookalike of Dorset Cereals.
The report claims both retailers and rival brands have been using the tactic more despite high-profile cases including Diageo’s successful actions against Sainsbury’s over its own-label Pimm’s alternative Pitchers, and the owners of Vodkat, Intercontinental Brands.
It claims the OFT and Trading Standards do not have the resources or incentive to enforce existing regulations.