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Product: Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (Stage 1 – Infant Formula)
Advertiser: Kendal Nutricare Ltd (Kendamil)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.3, 8.30, 8.31, 8.32
Leaflet advertising for Kendamil baby formula distributed at an event attended by consumers featured various variations of the product with symbols to indicate the fact that the product had an Irish founder (Irish flag) and that it was organic whole milk with no palm oil or fish oil. A table was provided which indicated how the ingredients of the product compared to other baby formulas.
The leaflet also provided the following information:
Welcome to our home. Kendamil is lovingly crafted in the Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place we proudly call home.
With over 60 years of expertise in infant nutrition, we combine the finest local and natural ingredients to develop a unique milk as kind as your baby.
Closer to nature, kinder by miles. For every stage of their journey”.
The back page of the leaflet provided information on “the Kendamil difference” and featured an image of a droplet with the wording “milk fat” written in the centre and the word “breastmilk” underneath. Two babies’ bottles were also featured. The first bottle indicated that it contained “EFA” * (amount in yellow) and “milk fat” (amount in white) with the abbreviation EFA being asterisked underneath to the fact that it represented “Essential Fatty Acids.” The writing underneath also indicated that it characterised “Kendamil Stage 1-3 formula”. The contents of the second bottle were entirely yellow in colour and featured the wording “Veg Fat” in the centre. The wording featured underneath indicated that it was representative of “other Irish brands”.
Information provided on the top right-hand side of the leaflet indicated that the product was “for all Irish families, veggie friendly, halal certified and kosher friendly”. The information at the bottom of the leaflet drew attention to the following:
“IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breastfeeding is best. Kendamil Follow-on milk is only for babies over 6 months and should be used as part of a mixed diet. Please talk to your Healthcare Professional”.
Information on the availability of the product in Irish stores was also provided.
A complaint was received from Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) who raised the following issues:
DII considered that inaccurate information had been provided on competitor products by indicating the presence of palm oil in one product when this was not the case.
DII outlined that it was against regulations to advertise Stage 1 infant formula.
DII considered that there had been a heavy emphasis on the Irishness of the Kendamil product across the communications in order to reach the Irish consumer in several ways; 1) Irish flag depicted, 2) ‘for Irish families’ statement, 3) ‘Irish founders’ reference and 4) call out of some Irish retailers.
The advertisers addressed the issues raised as follows.
The advertisers said their product comparisons were correct at the time of the event in question. They said it was normally the case that their team reviewed the comparison table for products indicated in their advertising prior to every event based on what was for sale in leading retail stores and they then updated the information provided in the tables accordingly. They said that while they had referred to a competitor’s product containing palm oil at the time, as this was no longer the case, they had updated their comparative tables accordingly.
The advertisers said that there had been no stage 1 formula present at the event nor was there any stage 1 product featured in their promotional leaflet.
The advertisers said that while their product was British made, the founders of the product were Irish, and most of the founders still lived in Ireland. They said that while the Irish Flag was pictured on the leaflet, it was the British Flag that featured on the product tin as the product was manufactured in the UK. They said that the reference to “All Irish Families” had been included to highlight that their standard formula was suitable for Halal, Kosher, and Vegetarians and was therefore inclusive of all Irish families regardless of their religious or ethnic dietary requirements. Reference had been made to Irish retailers as they were targeting Irish Consumers. If they targeted a different geographical area, they referred to retailers in that area.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1 – Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee noted that at the time the leaflet was published, the information provided had been correct and as the content of future advertising had been updated to reflect the current components of comparator product, they did not consider that advertising published at the time of the complaint was breach of the Code on the basis suggested by the complainant. of the Code.
Issue 2 – Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered while there were no images of Stage-1 Infant Formula depicted in the advertisement, the bottle on the back page of the leaflet which referred to the amount of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) and Milk Fat contained within the formula as opposed to breastmilk had contained the text “Stage 1-3” underneath and was, therefore, in breach of Sections 8.31 and 8.32 of the Code.
Issue 3- Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee noted that there was nothing in the ASAI Code to prevent advertising being targeted at different sectors of society and they did not consider the advertising to be in breach of the Code on the basis suggested by the complainant.