Further ruling by Advertising Standards Authority against Kendal Nutricare Ltd for breaches of infant formula advertising rules

Following a ruling against Kendal Nutricare Ltd in April this year, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today issued a new ruling for further instances of infant formula advertising that has breached the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code).

The ASA investigated four issues where Kendal Nutricare Ltd, who produce infant formula products under the brand name Kendamil, had breached the Code through its website content and upheld all four complaints.

The ASA has now instructed Kendamil to remove the adverts covered by the complaint from their website. The ASA further instructed the company to ensure their future marketing communication does not refer, either implicitly or explicitly, to infant formula and did not confuse between infant formula and follow-on formula; make claims or statements that discourage breastfeeding; make health or nutrition claims for infant formula; or state or imply that a food could prevent, treat or cure human disease.

The CAP Code states that except for scientific or factual communication in a scientific publication or, marketing materials for the purposes of trade before the retail stage, or in a publication of which the intended readers were not the general public, marketing of first infant formula is prohibited.

Additionally, marketing communications must not confuse between infant formula and follow-on formula or make health claims about infant formula.

Commenting on this second ruling, Declan O'Brien (BSNA Director General) said:

"The UK legislation and the CAP Code are very clear that marketing communications for infant formula are prohibited to the general public and companies must not discourage breastfeeding or seek to make health claims about first infant formula.

“BSNA members abide by the CAP Code and have developed our own industry code which sets out the standards member companies adhere to in terms of responsible marketing and transparency.

“The ASA has dismissed Kendamil’s explanation for the use of these advertisements on their website and have judged the company have breached the advertising code in each of the four areas within the complaint.

“BSNA looks forward to Kendal Nutricare Ltd being fully compliant with the CAP Code following this ASA judgement."

Further information

The ASA judgement can be found here.

The BSNA Infant Nutrition Industry Code is designed to ensure that our members can be challenged if there is any concern that they are not compliant with all aspects of the UK legislation. A complainant may alternatively choose to take the matter to the ASA or Trading Standards. Kendamil is not a member of BSNA.