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We're not lovin' it … McDonald's is UK's most-hated brand

FAST food giant McDonald's has been named as Britain's most-hated brand in a new survey by marketing experts.

The American burger chain – unpopular with 46 per cent of consumers – topped a list of the least-liked brands which featured some of the country's biggest names.

Tesco was second most hated in the poll for Marketing magazine, followed by Coca-Cola and the discount fashion chain Primark.

However, the research showed some of the most well-known brands also attracted consumers in equal measure.

Tesco and Coca-Cola were also voted Britain's sixth and seventh most loved brands respectively.

Both were more loved than hated, with 66 per cent backing for Tesco and 51 per cent for Coca-Cola. McDonald's attracted 36 per cent support.

Brand experts said dislike of McDonald's derived from health concerns and its market dominance.

Charlie Robertson, of Glasgow's Red Spider brand consultancy, said: "People are worried about growing obesity and fast food, while they also dislike McDonald's for its bland Americanising of the high street."

However, he said polarised opinion over major brands – the so-called "Marmite effect" – was simply because they were so high profile. He said: "If you are big, you are going to attract more negative opinion."

Marketing said the most hated brands were typically seen as being of poor quality and value for money, unreliable, and having irritating advertising.

Primark and Nestle were singled out for their perceived poor ethical record, over sourcing and marketing in poor countries. Sky and BT were seen as providing services that consumers were more likely to have a strong opinion about when things went wrong.

The brands topping the most-loved list made popular "comfort" products – such as Cadbury for its chocolate and Heinz for soup and baked beans.

Consultants FreshMinds, who polled 1,000 people for the research, said consumers both loved and hated major brands.

Alistair Leathwood, its managing director, said: "As a nation, we're famous for our love of the underdog, so hating big brands is a national pastime. However, when it comes to the weekly shop or getting a bite to eat, consumers still spend cash on the brands they are proud to hate."

A spokeswoman for McDonald's said: "We are serving more customers than ever before, during the summer over three million people a day visited our restaurants here in the UK. We take notice of surveys but pay most attention to what our customers say to us directly."

 
 
 

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