The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) has ruled out a rapprochement between Web site hallmarks operated by Trust UK and Clicksure.
The two accreditation groups have been at odds over their offerings since Trust UK was launched with government backing in July.
Reports suggested that the DTI was considering redesigning Trust UK, and had asked Clicksure to join it and advise how to overhaul the service. But the DTI has now denied the claim, and said it is happy with the way Trust UK is operating.
Another recently launched service, from KPMG and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, looks set to add to the confusion over Web site endorsement schemes. The KPMG offering claims to be the most "international" in scope and most complete in its assessment of Web sites.
At issue in the ongoing row is the role of the Consumers Association, which has its own accreditation scheme, in Trust UK.
The war of words could risk confusing consumers, who might be better able to understand a single coherent scheme rather than a series of differing labels.
However, rival schemes in the marketplace may add competition, which could benefit the consumer.