thread: Marketing of Forumla/ABM: How they break the rules and how you can complain

  1. #1
    Life Member. Every Australian needs a Farmer.

    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara

    Marketing of Forumla/ABM: How they break the rules and how you can complain

    We thought we would post some links to information on how the WHO and MIAF code are broken in regards to the advertising of Formula/Artificial Baby Milk and how brand 'identifiers' are routinely used to subliminally advertise their products. We also thought we would post a link on how you can go about making and lodging a complaint if you see anything that contravenes the codes.

    Regardless of your personal opinions on the use of breastfeeding substitutes, everyone should make themselves aware of these codes and know that they were instated for a very good reason - the prevent the unrelenting undermining of Breastfeeding. Making yourselves aware of the underhanded tactics employed by Baby food manufacturers is so vitally important, even if you do use the products yourselves, everyone can benefit from knowing information like this.

    The link to the Australian code violations is here (published in 2007)

    And instructions on how to complain are here Ibfan
    You can also write letters to the offices of the shops you see are actively breaking the code.

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2008
    in my head

    Just wanted to let you know those links are no longer working (at least not for me). I'd love to get hold of the up to date links if anyone can find some? I have found the MAIF Agreement on an Australian Govt Health site.

    I am sending off a letter of complaint tomorrow actually to the head office of a play centre chain. I visited one outlet last week who were handing out 'showbags' for S26 toddler formula with samples as well as a colouring book and crayons that were all individually branded..... The bags are the green style re-usable ones and a lot of my mates that I went with are planning to keep using them, effectively continuing the advertising of S26. I had never been to this playcentre before and am really disappointed and angry that they would take part in this type of advertising. There was a "joint promotion" to win a free kids Christmas party but to enter, you had to say in 25 words or less why you loved the product I could have filled it out I suppose but thought I would be taken more seriously if I wrote a proper letter of complaint to the playcentre company. I am not sure how to complain directly to S26 though and feel a bit futile about doing that anyway cause why would they care? I obviously don't buy their products if I'm complaining about their showbags........

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2008
    in my head

    Here is what I have written:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I visited a X outlet for the first time on Friday 17.09.10 at Y location. I was very disappointed, shocked and angered to be offered an S26 Toddler Formula promotional bag on my way into the centre. The staff said it was a joint promotion between Lollipops and S26 and that there was an entry form to win a Christmas party at the Y location outlet inside. As part of entry for the competition, respondents were asked to write a positive blurb about the S26 toddler formula. This is effectively asking parents to come up with advertising slogans for the product. There were two samples of S26 product in the bag as well as colouring crayons and a colouring book with S26 branding all over them.

    This is totally disgusting behaviour from both companies. As you may be aware, it is illegal to advertise infant formula in Australia and I encourage you to review the Manufacturers of Australian Infant Formula (MAIF) Agreement which can be found on Government Health websites (copy enclosed). Companies may not advertise formula for children under 12 months as it has been shown to reduce breastfeeding rates. Formula companies get around the restrictions by using the same or similar trade names, such as "formula" and "gold", in both infant and toddler milks and using promotional strategies such as the one operating out of the Y location franchise in relation to their toddler products. The advertising for S26 Toddler formula preys on parents’ vulnerability. There is no need for this product in healthy kids who should be getting most of their nutrients from food. Getting their brand out there and into household pantries with free samples or lounge rooms with branded crayons and colouring books for kids is indirectly advertising their infant formula.

    I would like to see these promotional bags withdrawn immediately and I think any of your franchises handing these out to parents, including and especially Y location, should be ashamed of their conduct. To say that S26 are advertising their toddler milk and not infant formula is splitting hairs and I still consider it to be highly unethical behaviour to be providing any kind of formula samples to parents. S26 are primarily known as an infant formula company and that is what their logo and brand represents to parents.

    My son had a fantastic time at the Y location X Playland but I will be very reluctant to provide you with any further business because of your involvement with assisting this formula company to advertise and promote their products directly to parents of young children. In case you believe that my address means I would not have been a frequent customer anyway, I had been planning to continue to use both the Y and Z location outlets on a regular basis after this first visit as I often travel to those locations. Having no prior experience with your centre, your brand has now been tarnished and associated with the unethical tactics of S26 and I will be investigating other playcentres in those areas to visit instead. I encourage you to give greater thought to the types of products your centres associate themselves with in future as it does affect how your customers perceive your centres.

    I attempted to provide this complaint directly to the Y location store over their webpage, however, the submit button did not appear to be working.

    I look forward to receiving your written response to the issues raised.

    Feedback would be appreciated. I have run out of printing paper so won't be able to send it off for a couple of days.

  4. #4
    clare076 Guest

    deleted because I reread your letter a bit better