In its fiftieth year, consumer watchdog, Which?, has presented its first Awards for the best products and services in the UK – as recognised by the consumers.
At the event, held at the British Museum, compered by broadcaster Fiona Bruce, Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, introducing the Awards said: “This is the first time in Which?’s 50-year history that we have so publicly celebrated the very best products and services available to UK consumers. Which? is known both for its fierce independence and for its unparalleled high standards.”
Ten award categories reflected the breadth of Which?’s research, ranging from domestic appliances to financial products, cars to broadband providers. The winner of the Best Domestic Appliance Brand award was Miele. The accolade for the Best Audiovisual Brand went to Panasonic, while John Lewis was voted as the Best Retailer.
Moreover, a special heritage award was presented to Panasonic, for achieving the most Which? Best Buy recommendations since Which? magazine was first published in 1957. Pensions Minister, James Purnell MP, was named Which? Consumer Champion of the Year for his commitment to the development of the national pensions saving scheme.
Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, set Which? a new challenge at the event: “to act as an intermediator between the producers and the consumers on the vital question of environmental sustainability; getting praise where is due, criticism where it isn’t, and working with reliable businesses to help consumers make these key choices that could determine the well-being of our children.”
Set up in 1957, Which? is a registered charity, which spends £5 million annually on consumer research. It has over 10,000 members whose subscriptions fund the organisation.