Fernando Olivares

Black Brands
(in the age of transparency)

Who really manufactures the products sold by leading brands?


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Marcas negras: en la era de la transparencia

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Portada Marcas Negras en Castellano


"As business goes global, the transparency problem is going to get worse. Consumers want to know who and where makes the products they buy. Products that hide their identities are called “Black Brands” by the authors of this interesting and authoritative book”.
"The authors of Black Brands (in the age of transparency) deserve a lot of credit for taking this first step in bringing transparency to branding".

Al Ries

"The main motivation driving the work of the authors of Black Brands (in the Age of Transparency) is to advocate for the fundamental right of consumers, as well as of the other stakeholders, to be informed at all times and with an absolute transparency of all the substantial and relevant matters concerning both companies and businesses, as well as their brands and trade marks”

"Most often, when discussing the matter of brands with little transparency, it is firstly private labels that come to our minds, i.e. the products manufactured by third parties that remain anonymous to the end-consumer, and that are marketed (with or without a brand name) by large retail distribution companies. Nevertheless, those are only the heads of a coin, of which the tails of such opacity are “black brands”: the products of a well-known and renowned company marketed and presented as their own production, but whose manufacture has been outsourced in reality to a third party, whose identity remains always concealed from the average consumer. With private labels, opacity is at least compensated by affordable prices, as a trade-off of which the consumer is aware (private labels are deliberately opaque; there is no fraud or deceit), whereas regarding black brands, consumers are unaware of the production-related «cheat» concerning their favourite brand, arousing therefore a feeling of deception and disappointment”

"The main goal of Black Brands (in the Age of Transparency) is to make our contribution based on our findings to unveil as much as possible the reality of production behind consumer products, as well as in other industrial sectors that are part of consumers’ everyday life, in order to increase consumers’ knowledge, awareness and freedom of choice. Justice, honesty, responsibility and transparency in trade relations, together with more empowered and better informed consumers freely acting in accordance with such information, shall certainly contribute to a better world”.

Fernando Olivares

About the authors

Fernando Olivares


Fernando Olivares is a senior lecturer of Communication and Corporate Reputation and Branding at the University of Alicante, Spain.

He is the director of the Chair on Corporate Branding, a leading venue for knowledge on the business and the corporate world and their positive relationship with the environment. He also directs the research group “UA_Brandscience”.

He directed for ten years the Chair on Family-Owned Business, through which he has gained first-hand knowledge on the reality of over one thousand family businesses around the world. Fernando Olivares is a researcher for various projects of Spanish Ministries and the European Union regarding corporate intangible assets.

He has authored and co-authored several books and over 50 papers published in impact scientific journals.


Doctor Esperanza Gallego Sánchez She is Professor of Commercial Law and head of the Department of Commercial and Procedural Law at the University of Alicante (Spain).

Doctor Gabriel Izard Granados He is an economist, doctor by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB, Spain) and has completed the programme for management development at IESE (Business School, University of Navarra. Spain).

Andrés López Martínez He is a researcher of the Chair of Corporate Branding at the University of Alicante and collaborates with the Research Group of Corporate Branding, UA_Brandscience.

Rafael Mira Almendros He is an industrial and technical engineer (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain). After starting his career in the automotive industry for a few years, he focused on innovation management and development of new products in several industrial sectors.

Fernando Móner Romero Since 1997 he is the President of the Valencia Association of Consumers and Users. Since 2008 he also presides over the Confederation of Consumers and Users (at national level). He is a member of the board of the Spanish Economic and Social Council

Doctor Pilar Montero García-Noblejas She is the Director of the Master on Industrial and Intellectual Property at the University of Alicante, Spain (Magister Lvcentinvs). She has a teaching career as lecturer of Commercial Law at the University of Alicante

Arturo Pinedo de Miguel He is a member and Managing Director for Spain and Portugal of the consultancy firm Llorente & Cuenca. He has 29 years’ professional experience in communication consultancy and specialises in corporate communication and crisis communication.

Doctor Alberto Pinillos Laffón He is a contracted lecturer with a Ph.D. of Communication and Advertising Language at the University of Alicante (2000). He holds a university degree in Advertising and Public Relations by the Complutense University of Madrid and is a doctor in Verbal Branding and Naming with the highest mark.

Arminda Pérez Marín She is an associate lecturer of Corporate Image at the University of Alicante. She holds a university degree in Advertising and Public Relations by the University of Alicante and another degree in Journalism by the Miguel Hernández University of Elche.

Daniel Rodríguez He is a contracted lecturer with a Ph.D. of Graphic Design at the University of Alicante. He holds a degree in Art by the University of Barcelona, where he completed a postgraduate course on digital typography and he finished his doctorate with a dissertation on digital typography obtaining the highest mark


BLACK BRANDS has been promoted by the Chair of the Corporate Brand of the University of Alicante and the research group, UA_Brandscience. The Chair of the Corporate Brand was created in 2018, as a result of the agreement between the University of Alicante and LLYC (Llorente and Cuenca), a global leading consultancy in corporate reputation and communication management. The Chair aims to be a reference in reflection, research and dissemination in the field of corporate and product brands within the framework of the new principles of the new age.


Contact Us

If you are interested in the book and want to know more, you can contact us by writing to f.olivares@ua.es