Aldi promotes ‘Lower Price, Cheaper’ Infant Formula

Update 14 February 2013: Aldi has said it will remove these promotions and ensure it complies with the UK Regulations in future (see below)
 
Violation details: On 5th February 2013 Aldi supermarket in Stoke-on-Trent (Leek New Road) was promoting infant formula with shelf-talkers claiming ‘Lower Price’ and ‘Cheaper’ alongside another shelf-talker for SMA Gold ‘Stage 1 First Infant Milk’ (photo - click on image for larger version). The photo below showed the same promotion at the Trentham store on 23 January.
 
Paragraph 23 of the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations (2007) (see ‘Law' section) concerns the restrictions on the promotion of infant formula.
 
It states:
 
23.—(1) No person shall at any place where any infant formula is sold by retail— 
(a)  advertise any infant formula; 
(b)  make any special display of an infant formula designed to promote sales; 
(c)  give away—
(i) any infant formula as a free sample, or
(ii) any coupon which may be used to purchase an infant formula at a discount;
 (d)  promote the sale of an infant formula by means of premiums, special sales, loss-leaders or 
tie-in sales; or 
(e) undertake any other promotional activity to induce the sale of an infant formula. 
 
Further that:
 
(2) No manufacturer or distributor of any infant formula shall provide for promotional purposes 
any infant formula free or at a reduced or discounted price, or any gift designed to promote the 
sale of an infant formula, to— 
(a)  the general public; 
(b)  pregnant women; 
(c)  mothers; or 
(d)  members of the families of persons mentioned in sub-paragraphs(b) and (c), 
either directly, or indirectly through the health care system or health workers.
 
Therefore, by Aldi using shelf-talkers to encourage sales of SMA Gold Infant Formula by claiming that it is ‘Lower Price’ and ‘Cheaper’, it is in breach of the Law.  
 
Indeed, the Guidance Notes, issued to assist with the interpretation of the Law, state that with regard to paragraph 23 of the Law:
 
companies should not use prominent shop window displays, free standing displays or ‘shelf-talkers’ which relate to infant formula products.  (Guidance Notes, section 71).
 
Neither, according to the Guidance Notes should there be:
 
any other special activity at any place where any infant formula is sold by retail to induce the sale of an infant formula (Guidance Notes, section 73)
 
Baby Milk Action has reported this breach of Law to both Aldi and Trading Standards.
 
This promotion was not an isolated event (the picture below is from the Trentham store).
 
 
Aldi responded on 14 February 2013 as follows:
 
Dear Mr Brady 
 
Thank for your email regarding the incorrect promotion of SMA infant formula in the Aldi, Stoke-on-Trent store.  
 
We are aware of this matter and have been working with Trading Standards to ensure compliance with the 'Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations (2007)' across all of our stores nationwide.
 
Trading Standards are satisfied that we are working with stores to ensure the correct promotion of the SMA infant formula and that we are rectifying any instances of non-compliance.  
 
We are reminding our trading teams of the correct in-store promotion procedures and the need to remove any incorrect price cards and shelf-talkers.  We will of course take immediate action to ensure the correct point of sale is displayed in the Stoke-on-Trent store.
 
Thanks again for contacting us about this matter and please let us know if we can help with anything further.
 
Kind regards
 
The Aldi Buying Team.   
 
There should, of course, be no promotion of SMA infant formula at all and so we hope Aldi's intention is to say it will display the product correctly.

 

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