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AIBU - to think that adverts for follow on formula should acknowledge breastfeeding...

(276 Posts)
GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 19:33:42

Having just seen the advert on tv for heinz (now hideously overpriced) Nurture (follow on forumla) which delivered the message that it is the best thing you can give your baby for its development...
Do you think it would be unreasonable that these adverts should recognise breastfeeding - eg saying that if you are breastfeeding that this is great and providing what your child needs, however, if you have chosen not to breastfeed or have chosen to formula feed, that this is then the stuff for you... and that the 6 month time thing is not a deadline to stop at but a target to aim for.
I realise that by 6 months I am now in a minority of mothers who are still breastfeeding. I acknowledge that everyone has a right to choose how to feed their child, or that sometimes the choice is made for them, often by conditions or factors outside of their control and I would NEVER presume to judge how another woman feeds her child.
However, I just think it would be appropriate for these adverts to acknowledge that if you are breastfeeding you don't need this stuff - although in the real world I know that this will never happen as they have a product to sell - but do you (whether bfing or ffing) think that this would be an unreasonable thing for the companies to do?

(Sorry for the long post - just really really annoyed by the advert).

thelittlestbadger Mon 11-Aug-08 19:38:18

The tins and packages do and although they could make it clearer in the advert it would end up like those mortgage ones where it seems a lot of people don't read the small print. I agree that they are irritating but don't think they will change anything and that actually many of their other tricks are far worse.

princessglitter Mon 11-Aug-08 19:41:15

I think these ads should be banned altogether. Too much room for manipulation by formula companies - using much younger babies in the ads etc.

NicMac Mon 11-Aug-08 19:42:07

YABU - give women credit for their intelligence. It is like the warnings on ciagrette packets, no one takes any notice. People have a choice to BF or not, it doesn't make you a bad mother if you choose not to BF

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 19:45:23

I have complained to the ASA - anyone else who feels inspired to do so can follow this link... On ths basis that it made the 6 month recommendation look like a cut off - 'ok you've done your 6 months... now give them this' with the heavy implication being that it's better for them. I see formula adverts in the same way as I do ad's for condoms or sanitary protection ie you don't need the ads as you work out what's best for you ( or your baby...) grin

Bumdiddley Mon 11-Aug-08 19:46:54

I was actually annoyed that they don't advertise formula - I had no idea what was on the market! And it's too taboo to discuss.

And yes I did try to bf...

NicMac Mon 11-Aug-08 19:48:10

Exactly Bumdiddley, FF is so taboo now and that is not helpful for mothers who cannot or choose not to BF.

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 19:48:16

Hi NicMac - my point wasn't to suggest that mothers who ff are bad mothers but rather that the adverts imply there is no other option and that their product is better. I genuinly feel from the ad that bfing is being portrayed in a negative way.

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 19:50:57

I think how popular feeding choices are depends on where you are and your own choices. I had an emergency section, was on the ward for 3.5 days and out of everyone else who passed through (at least another 12 women) I was the only person breastfeeding...

muggglewump Mon 11-Aug-08 19:51:13

YABU to hope they would do that, as you say they have a product to advertise and it's not breastmilk!
It would be great if they did but I just don't think it'll ever happen.

I'm not sure where you are but here in Scotland there's a BF advert on TV and one on the side of a bus (I live in a small town so there maybe loads of bus adverts that I've not seen)

Jacblue Mon 11-Aug-08 19:51:22

Speaking as someone who was desperate to bf and after 8 weeks of trying and dd (and then ds 2 yrs later) not gaining weight had to go onto formula. I was gutted. I was really comforted by the fact that, although I had given it my best shot, Aptimil formula was pretty much as good as the real thing. It's not as black and white as 'those who choose to and those who choose not to'.

Mums on the whole are a lot more with it than you're suggesting and I don't think there are many out there who think formula is a 'better' option than breast milk, just maybe a better option for them.

NicMac Mon 11-Aug-08 19:52:18

Hi Gillianlovesmarmite, I know you weren't specifically saying this but there is a strong implication by many people that FF is only for mothers who can't be bothered BF. This is not always the case. Personally it is reassuring to see adverts which do show follow on milk.

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 19:54:19

Jacblue - I agree totally...

I did say "I acknowledge that everyone has a right to choose how to feed their child, or that sometimes the choice is made for them, often by conditions or factors outside of their control..."

LackaDAISYcal Mon 11-Aug-08 19:58:51

i was going to hise this threas, as it will kick off big time, but I had to ask jacblue a question.

Where did you get the information that Aptamil was "pretty much as good as the real thing"? i'm pretty sure it was either from your HV, whi had been wooed by the company's marketing team, or from the adverts themselves.

No formula is pretty much as good as the rela thing. Yes, they are a lifesaver and a good substitute, but as recent debates on here have shown, the research into the long term effects of formula is sketchy at best, funded entirely by the formula companies themselves and thier claims about it being "closest to BM" are totally unsubstantiated. It's quite sad really that they are still getting away with it.

So, OP, I don't think YABU. Follow on was only invented to get round the ban on advertising infant milk (ie for babies under six months old). no baby needs follow on milk whether BF or FF...first milks have all the nutrients needed until they child is one year old.

<hides thread>

muggglewump Mon 11-Aug-08 20:01:33

Oh, I hope I didn't come across as anti FF, I'm not, honest, DD was mix fed from 4 months and on formula from 6 months. I do know the struggles with BF
What I meant was it would be great if FF adverts could say the next best thing is X or Y formula but that will never happen.

I also think a lot of people think BF adverts don't exist but in Scotland, they do

Jacblue Mon 11-Aug-08 20:03:35

Actually LackaDaisycal I only ever did use their first milk. Which do you think is better for a child? Aptimil or nothing? hmm

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 20:04:14

Hi Mugglewump - I haven't noticed any ads here (North of England) outside of health centres etc - although they are keen to promote it as the current rate for breastfeeding in the first hour after birth is less than half the national average "stats for"

ILikeYourSleeves Mon 11-Aug-08 20:06:06

I am breastfeeding my DS and he is now 9 months old. Some of you have said that women are intelligent enough to know that breastmilk should continue beyond 6 months, however whenever I see my sister she always asks me if I have started DS on 'follow on milk' yet, despite me explaining time and time again that breastmilk is more than fine and he doesn't need formula. She seems to think though that 'follow on' is for all babies to drink so the adverts are obviously not that clear. OK my sister isn't the brightest star in the sky but she's not that daft! Plus she is 34 weeks PG now and therefore more knowledgeable about the world of babies & feeding and she still doesn't get it.

So YANBU, yes I totally understand that many women have to FF and that is totally fine, but I don't think the formula adverts explain the benefits of breastmilk at all.

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 20:09:26

I didn't want this to turn into bf v ff debate as that's not what it's about - it was more the way in which the advert presented the product - plus - there is some positive information about formula out there eg "here - although the first bit is all about breastmilk it does say how much more advanced formula is becoming and debates the possibility of introducing more specialised components into ff to increase the benefits.

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 20:12:39

I agree with ILikeYourSleeves - I do think that they are promoting follow on milk for bfers - in particular there was an ad recently for night time milk which said to 'replace babys' usual night time milk' with their milk.

I don't think adverts should be banned - I just think they should be more balanced and to some extent I agree with LackaDAISYcal that there shouldn't be any difference between the first formula milk and the nutrients it provides...

LackaDAISYcal Mon 11-Aug-08 20:12:42

JacBlu, If you read all my post I acknowledge that formula is a lifesaver and a good substitute. I am not anti FF either, my DS was FF from 5.5 weeks until he was a year (on first milk) and my DD from 10 mo until a year.

I only asked where you got the information that it was "as good as BM" from, because it isn't and no formula manufacturer can or will provide any research to back up such claims.

I have no issues with formula milk as a product that is necessary for those who can not or choose not to BF. My beef is with the unscrupulous manufacturer's who are only out to make as much profit as they can, at what may well be the expense of the nations' future health.

This is such an emotive issue that comes up all the time on MN and always ends in a bunfight with the FFers accusing the BFers of condemning them for using formula, even when this blatantly isn't the case.

Sorry if you think that's what I was doing, but read my post again please and you will see that it isn't.

NicMac Mon 11-Aug-08 20:14:28

What should the advertisers do though? How could they best acknowledge BF?

LackaDAISYcal Mon 11-Aug-08 20:17:40

ILikeYourSleeves, I think you are right about targetting BFers with follow-on milk. I think it was tiktok who pointed out recently that more mums who have BF buy into the follow-on milk thing than mums who started off with formula or who switched early on. They are also more likely to continue using the follow-on formula beyond a year. It's in the formula companies interests to hook into that market and cionvince women that if they are "moving on" from BFing then they should buy their follow on formula.

GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 20:19:00

I don't know - I suppose it would be a very sensitive area to address - as I wouldn't want anyone to be upset or offended by the way it was handled, but it's just something that's so obviously missing at the moment..


GillianLovesMarmite Mon 11-Aug-08 20:22:15

How about 'whatever you choose to feed your baby we want to make you concerned you're not doing it well enough and want to persuade you to part with your cash to buy our product...' grin cheesily spoken over soft focus pictures of babies...

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