The Baby Feeding Law Group is monitoring baby food company marketing practices in the UK. You can submit information on company materials, advertisements, promotion in shops, promotion in hospitals and visits by company representatives using on-line forms. Click on the links in the section menu after reading the information below.
We monitor all company activities which undermine breastfeeding or which provide misleading or inaccurate information on infant and young child feeding. Such practices are most likely violating the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly, which apply in the UK independently of government measures. Some of these practices may also break the narrower UK Law.
You can also register complaints with enforcement authorities.
If your complaint is about practices in a retail outlet such as a supermarket or pharmacy or on the website of a retailer or occurred in a health facility you can complain direct to your local Trading Standards Office as well as completing the BFLG form. Click here to find your local Trading Standards Office
In England, Scotland and Wales you need to make your complaint via Consumers Advice - click here
. In Northern Ireland call 0845 600 62 62 or visit Consumer Direct
. You may need to refer specifically to the UK Law, as not all offices are immediately familiar with this. See The Law section of this site.
Ofcom (product placement rules)
Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communication industries) has introduced rules regarding product placement in television programmes. Products that cannot be placed in programmes include: "infant formula (baby milk), including follow-on formula". However, Ofcom does point out that some products may appear in programmes because they have been chosen by the producers as props. Companies can be fined for breaking the rules.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
Broadcast (radio and television) and internet advertising comes under the voluntary Advertising Code. Complaints about advertisements can be made to the industry-funded Advertising Standards Authority at http://www.asa.org.uk/
Unfortunately it is the ASA's policy to disregard most type of violations reported to it as it applies tests based on its own narrow interpretation of the UK law. However, please do try and let us know what response you receive.
You may also like to draw the attention of the offending media or shops to the provisions of the Law. Many shops provide customer feedback forms and these can be used if you do not want to speak directly with the shop management.