Title

It's all formula to me: women's understandings of toddler milk ads

RIS ID

33673

Publication Details

Berry, N. J., Jones, S. & Iverson, D. (2010). It's all formula to me: women's understandings of toddler milk ads. Breastfeeding Review, 18 (1), 21-30.

Abstract

This study utilised semi-structured interviews to investigate how women expecting a first baby perceived print advertisements for 'toddler milks' in order to determine whether they function as indirect advertising for infant and follow-on formula. Examination of the marketing literature, analysis of the advertisers' websites and the advertisements themselves provided sources of triangulation. Fifteen women expecting a first baby were recruited from antenatal classes conducted by staff of the Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service. These respondents clearly understood toddler milk advertisements to be promoting a range of products that included infant and follow-on formula and accepted their claims quite uncritically. These claims contradicted public health messages about breastfeeding and the evidence of health risks associated with formula feeding. Toddler milk advertisements appear to function as indirect advertising for infant and follow-on formula. The Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula: Manufacturers' and Importers' Agreement is failing to protect the Australian community from the advertising of breastmilk substitutes as required by World Health Assembly Resolution 33.47, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Further research is recommended to determine whether the responses of this group of primiparous women from a single area in NSW are representative of the wider population of Australian mothers.