Marks & Spencer and Tesco have topped the UK’s most ‘authentic’ brands list. 

The supermarkets took first and second spot respectively, after a poll of 12,000 people asked which brands people thought to be most authentic. The study was carried out before the latest Tesco revelations unfolded, in which the company made a £264m profit overstatement.

Other big names in the list saw John Lewis, Asda and Waitrose take a spot amongst those seen as most authentic.

The research found that people rated integrity, innovation and bringing new products to market as factors that influence their buying decisions. It labelled these ‘authenticity anchors’.

It also found that 42% of consumers thought that retailers and supermarkets were good at displaying authentic behaviours.


Andrew Escott, managing director corporate affairs at communications and PR agency Cohn and Wolfe, the company that conducted the report, said: “As more and more corporate scandals come to light, consumer perceptions of businesses are suffering: just 3% of individuals in the UK believe big businesses are very transparent and honest. While no brand is immune to a crisis, we’ve seen again and again that those brands that act with honesty and integrity recover faster and are more respected by consumers than those who don’t.

“For instance, this study was actually conducted before the scandal around Tesco‘s profits emerged. What it shows is that Tesco has built a solid foundation of consumer trust that it can still use to protect its business, but it will need to act quickly and transparently.”

He added: “In a fiercely competitive industry, retailers and supermarkets have to work hard for our custom. The strides they have made in operating in a more transparent and interactive way with their consumers certainly seems to have paid off given their position as the most authentic sector in the UK.”