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12 Local Brands That Aren't So Local

The faceless conglomerates, anonymous hometowns, and just straight-out misdirections behind your favorite brands.

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Nu uh. Hollister Co. is actually based out of Ohio. This is what Hollister, California, is actually famous for:

Before Abercrombie & Fitch decided that the sleepy agricultural city would become the avatar of sunkissed California style for tweens, its biggest claim to fame was a 1947 motorcycle riot.


Except, the origins of London Fog are totally non-British...


...But they are totally sweet: Israel Myers' Londontown company made 10,000 raincoats for American soldiers during World War II. It later became the iconic consumer brand. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

They really want you to think this:

View this video on YouTube

These totally bizarre and amazing ads starring Will Ferrell have only been shown in a select few markets — and are largely responsible for the revival of the stalwart brand, now part of the Pabst conglomerate headquartered in Los Angeles.


Sure! As long as you mean Washington, and you're OK with tacky themed airplanes.

Flickr: smartjunco

Alaska Airlines is headquartered in SeaTac, Washington. And while it's great to be based in an airport city, it's not actually in Alaska! C'mon! (Yeah, sure, it was founded in Alaska.)


This is Malibu, California. It's a beautiful town, tucked away north of Los Angeles. Some of the houses are on the beach, while others rest on spectacular cliffs overlooking the Pacific.

Malibu has nothing to do with Malibu, California. It has some vague island branding even though Malibu isn't an island. It's also just one brand for French drinks giant Pernod Ricard.

Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.

Contact Matthew Zeitlin at

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