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Product: Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Medium: Internet (Social Media)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4c, 8.30, 8.31, 8.32
Advertising on Boot’s Facebook page referred to the following:
“Boots Ireland. Sponsored
An image of a box of breastmilk substitute STARTER PACK featured underneath the above text. The box included a picture of a baby’s bottle and the wording on the box read:
FROM BIRTH. FIRST INFANT MILK BREAST MILK SUBSTITUTE.
STARTER PACK. Pre-sterilised – Ready to use. 6 X 70 ml – SHOP NOW”
Two complaints were received concerning the post. Both complainants objected to the advertising for Stage One Infant Formula being served to the public as they considered it to be against regulations to do so.
The advertisers said they ran a campaign under the tag line #GiftLikeYouGetThem. The aim of the campaign had been to help people to choose the most suitable gifts for their friends and family. One element of their campaign had been a Dynamic Product Ad which was served on Facebook’s platform. Dynamic Product Ads displayed the chosen audience products that consumers had expressed an interest in from the Boots.ie website. They had a generic framework with the tag line #GiftLikeYouGetThem and products were then pulled from Boots.ie and showcased to their customers. The product selection was specific to each customer and the intention had been to showcase highly relevant gift suggestions.
The advertisers said that an error had occurred where the correct product restrictions had not been applied. The campaign should have only served products which were in their Seasonal, Beauty, Fragrance or Electrical Beauty Categories.
In this case, customers were served with a Stage 1 Infant Formula Starter Pack as a product suggestion. The advertisers said that baby products and in particular infant formula should have been restricted from this campaign. Only relevant products should have been served to customers within the Dynamic Product Ad.
The advertisers said they withdrew the ad as soon as they realised the error and had since applied further processes to avoid this error from happening again in the future.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertising had been removed.
The Committee expressed concern, however, that advertising for Stage 1 Infant Formula had been served to consumers. The Committee concluded that the advertising was in breach of Section 8.31 of the Code.
Action Required: As the advertising had been withdrawn and further processes implemented by the advertisers to prevent similar errors happening in the future, no further action was required in this case.