Universities in Australia and Britain have been spending more and more on marketing themselves, and seeking to create unique brands that will allegedly help them succeed, often with very doubtful results.

A British academic, Dr Paul Temple, has claimed that much of the branding work is "candyfloss". Writing in Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education (volume 15, issue four, October 2011), a journal for university administrators, he said: "People are not, mostly idiots: they will see what is branding candyfloss and what is the reality, created over time by good management and a well-nurtured academic culture. Branding work … can have no significant impact on these matters.” In another paper, Branding Higher Education: Illusion or reality (volume 10, issue 1, 2006) he said: "The brands of … universities, that is, people’s perceptions of the kind of places they are, come out of … academic and organisational successes and failures. Building a brand, if you want to call it that, means working to ensure there are more successes than failures -- and it can only be done by the academic and administrative staff working together, with good leadership. Nobody else can do it. That is the reality: branding as a route to success is the illusion."