Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unethical marketing practices by Formula Manufacturers

In NZ formula companies are becoming bolder in their marketing practices. Just recieved in my postbox today from Pfizer (who manufacture SMA amongst other things) promotional material for S26 Gold. amongst other things they are offering me free samples of Newborn formula as well as follow on formula. I have a form I can fax back to them to request these samples. The fax number given is 09 489 6240. This is the statement about how the company see this sitting within the Code of Practice for marketing of infant formula :
""These samples have been provided under the provisions of Article 7.3 of the Intfant Nutrition Council Code of Practice for the Marketing if Infant Formula (I will leave you to read that from the code linked here). Where the suitability of a product is being assesed for an individual infant, the professionsal evaluation will always include a follow-up meeting with the mother of the infant; The product samples of infant formula products should be kept out of public view;
""These samples are not to be resold of taken for personal use by healthcare professionals or other staff;
 If Pfizer grants this request for infant formula units, Pfizer may make inquiries of our staff periodically and may request reasonable documentation in support of the number of formula units requested, or actually recieved, by my institution or Healthcare System;
 "Professional evaluation" applie to one or all of the following situations: *Analysis or products (ingredients, taste, nutritional profile);
*Trial preparation and mixing of infant formula products (includes preparation and mixing instructions to mothers);
 *Investigation or development projects, using sound methodology and involveing a numver of infants;
 *A thorough assessement of the suitability of a product for the individual infant, including acceptance by the infant, when mothers have made the informed choice to use infant formula.""



This is implying that these free samples are being distrbuted as some sort of pseudo scientific research process rather than simple marketing of what is a very expensive brand of infant formula. If midwives are unsure of the benefits or risks of formula feeding they need to assess this through reliable, unbiased information sources, not through the marketing processes of formula companies. The reason companies supply free samples is to increase their sales, not to conduct research. This is the information midwives and women need, prepared for the UK but is also applicable and useful in New Zealand. I interpret this as a violation of the Code of Marketing of breast milk substitutes and welcome your thoughts on this. I am worried for New Zealand Mothers and babies if this is allowed to go unchallenged. Perhaps we need to bombard their fax. the number again is 09 489 6240 See this about the unethical practices of formula manufacturers, this is from the Philipines however this type of activity occurs here too. Here the formula companies justify their marketing processses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4lxuiCazL0

 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you carolyn.
I interpret this as sly marketing - and very unethical.
Rae

neilsonmario said...

Marketing is very essential thing for every company because people can get client by using web promotion. Different techniques available which can give best results.

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