Labour Party plans review of lookalike brands policy

The Labour Party is to draw up new policy guidelines on brand lookalikes, following persistent lobbying by brand manufacturers.

Nigel Griffiths, Labour’s spokesman on advertising and consumer affairs, says he will be canvassing opinions on lookalikes from all sections of the trade, including retailers. This follows complaints from British manufacturers that they are losing out because of inadequate legal safeguards.

“At this stage, Labour has no plans; Labour is consulting. We are neutral on this issue. But we will be making our views clear in a policy statement before the next election,” says Griffiths. He adds he is about to begin the consultation process with a visit to the British Retail Consortium.

Some brand manufacturers want toughened legislation against lookalikes in response to what they regard as retailers’ continuing abuse of their market position. They favour reform along European lines. In Germany, for example, plagiarism provides sufficient grounds for litigation. In Britain, the Trade Mark law, though recently modified, is comparatively weak.

Recently, the lookalikes controversy reached new levels of bitterness after Tesco launched a range of own-label cereals, made by the Cereal Partnership. The Tesco packaging closely resembles that of Kellogg (MW October 25). Kellogg, Tesco and Nestlé, which jointly owns the Cereal Partnership with General Mills, have all subscribed to the Institute of Grocery Distribution code of conduct, which was supposed to diffuse disputes of this kind.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here