SMA baby milk ads 'misleading', rules watchdog64 complaints made, and current ads must be pulled

20 September 2012

Baby bottle

Adverts for SMA follow-on milk have been banned in their current form, as the advertising watchdog deems them 'misleading.'

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rapped Pfizer Ltd's knuckles for 'misleadingly' implying that follow-on milk was the best alternative to breast milk and superior to other follow-on milk.

Which? acting head of home content, Natalie Hitchins, said: 'With so much advice on baby feeding out there, it's important that companies aren't misleading new parents with product claims that can't be substantiated.'

Read our independent advice on buying baby feeding products.

'Misleading' ads for baby milk

The sixty-four complainants about the baby milk adverts included UNICEF UK, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain.

The ASA said that statements such as 'For Kate the best milk after hers is SMA Follow-on Milk' were presented as objective statements rather than personal testimonials, as Pfizer Ltd argued. However,  it said it was 'sufficiently clear' that the ads were not suggesting that breastfeeding should be stopped and replaced with follow-on milk. 

Two other complaints that said the ads were misleading because they implied breastfeeding should stop at six months were not upheld.

Baby milk advice

The Department of Health recommends exclusively breast-feeding for the first six months of your baby's life to give him or her the best start. 

But you might not be able to breast-feed your baby, or may choose not to. Whether you then feed your baby with expressed breast milk or with formula, choosing the right bottle is important. 

When your baby moves onto solid food, check out our review of baby food blenders. 

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