Should baby milk ads be banned? Watch

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A coalition of charities is calling for a total ban on the advertising of formula milk for babies. Does baby milk put mothers off breastfeeding?

The National Childbirth Trust, Save The Children and Unicef blame adverts for many mothers abandoning breastfeeding before the recommended six months.

The charities have accused baby milk companies of getting around the advertising ban by using their follow-on milks which often contains the same logo.

Should there be a total ban on advertising formula milk? Is there too much pressure on mothers to breastfeed? Are you a mother? Did you breast or bottle feed your baby?

Click here to read the full story (on the BBC website)
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Segat1
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#2
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boooooooooooooooooooooooring.
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SuperhansFavouriteAlsatian
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Obviously not.
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ßlαcksωαn
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Most definitely.
Breast is best!
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frost105
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#5
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I think its ridiculous. Mothers should have the right to choice what they give their child. They're should be better support to help mothers learn how to breast feed as the support in the hospitals is appalling. Bottle milk isnt poison and shouldnt be treated as such.
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Angelil
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#6
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Completely agree with frost.

While breast may be 'best', formula milk is NOT harmful to children and mothers have the right to make their own choice on the matter.

If they're going to ban baby milk ads, they should also ban those despicable guilt-tripping posters in NHS surgeries which imply that non-breastfeeding mothers are bad mothers.
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jenfragile
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Absolutely not! Sometimes with all the best will in the world, babies just will not breastfeed. My nephew refused to latch on despite the best attempts of 4 different midwives and my sister, he started to become dehydrated so they resorted to literally tipping milk out of a pipette into his mouth. They tried again over a week and he still wouldn't take it, she ended up using an alternate combination of expressed milk and on occasions where that wasn't possible, formula.

Too many women are pressurised into breastfeeding when it just isn't suitable for them, or made to feel like a failure if their baby doesn't take to it. I was born three months early so was fed on formula through a tube and had no problems at all - there's such a fear now around it and I feel that's irresponsible. There's enough pressure on new mothers as it is without trying to make them feel guilty constantly! People should be free to choose.
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ChemistBoy
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Lying in adverts should be banned. Trying to convince mothers that formula is best is wrong, simple as that. Breastfeeding should be attempted by all mothers and formula only used if that doesn't prove possible.

One has to remember that baby formula producers are incredibly aggresive about marketing their products to the extent of giving out free samples of products in hospitals, etc. where they can get away with it - clearly against the advice of the WHO and the vast majority of specialists in this country.
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Angelil
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I didn't know about some suppliers attempting to give out samples in hospitals, and of course that's wrong and shouldn't be allowed, because all mothers should be encouraged to at least attempt breastfeeding.

The only kind of formula milk I've seen advertised, however, is intended as follow-on milk for older babies and definitely not intended for babies as young as six weeks.
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Jennybean
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(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Lying in adverts should be banned. Trying to convince mothers that formula is best is wrong, simple as that. Breastfeeding should be attempted by all mothers and formula only used if that doesn't prove possible.

One has to remember that baby formula producers are incredibly aggresive about marketing their products to the extent of giving out free samples of products in hospitals, etc. where they can get away with it - clearly against the advice of the WHO and the vast majority of specialists in this country.
I think you've expressed the most sensible point of view here. Seeing as the point of advertising is generally to convince the consumer that your product is superior to the alternatives, I don't see that as a country with a moral responsibility towards its citizens we have any choice but to ban ads for formula, because its only real competitor is naturally expressed breast milk. If there was a way of advertising formula without it being touted as superior to breast I would be a bit more open minded but realistically I don't think the companies are altruistic enough for that to happen - let's be honest, they don't care about the welfare of children, they just want to make money, as demonstrated by the Nestlé scandal.

I agree that for some children it is necessary to bottle feed and that while breast is indisputably preferable for the health of the baby, it's not exactly something to get hysterical over if the baby won't take or if there is a problem with the mother's lactation. I just think there is a growing culture of convenience in this country, a lot of ignorance about breast feeding, a lack of support in getting going and also a growing number of mothers trying to "have it all" for whom it is simply easier to bottlefeed a baby than try and breastfeed. I really feel that advertising formula would only encourage these people to abandon breastfeeding when what we should be trying to do is give them more education, help and support with it.

That said, if the support and help was available to encourage new mums to breastfeed, perhaps it would be possible to advertise the formula and avoid patronising everybody by allowing them to make up their own minds. But I don't think we can have the one without the other - if you advertise formula without the support we'll see a general increase in the problems associated with formula feeding babies, such as allergies, and that's obviously not desirable for the health of the nation.
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Angelil
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I still say they should ban the pro breastfeeding posters in surgeries as well. Mothers generally know what options are available to them (seriously, no new mother is going to see one of these pro breastfeeding posters in a surgery and go "hmmm, breastfeeding eh, never heard of that before, ohhhh, so THAT'S what these are for...") and to be honest, particularly with the right post-natal support, there shouldn't be any need for ANY of this kind of advertising. In a modern society such as ours there should be absolutely no need for this ridiculous guilt-tripping propaganda.
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Jennybean
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(Original post by Angelil)
I still say they should ban the pro breastfeeding posters in surgeries as well. Mothers generally know what options are available to them (seriously, no new mother is going to see one of these pro breastfeeding posters in a surgery and go "hmmm, breastfeeding eh, never heard of that before, ohhhh, so THAT'S what these are for...") and to be honest, particularly with the right post-natal support, there shouldn't be any need for ANY of this kind of advertising. In a modern society such as ours there should be absolutely no need for this ridiculous guilt-tripping propaganda.
I agree that no mother is never going to have heard of breastfeeding before but many are ignorant of the benefits and literally think that the only difference between breast milk and formula is one comes from your boobs and the other from a tin. I agree that for those women who find breastfeeding literally impossible for whatever reason, they shouldn't be guilt tripped all the way to weaning but for those who have a choice, it is important that they understand the best decision they can make is to breastfeed. Like it or not there is a lot of evidence to suggest that not breastfeeding can have quite serious long term health implications and they might not affect every single individual but they are real and shouldn't be ignored. Additionally, I may not be as well informed as you are on this subject but personally the only advertising I've seen for breast feeding has been fairly neutral and fact-based. Could you give an example of some publicity you've seen which you found either offensive or guilt-inducing or whatever?
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campbell87
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Mothers have a choice, we can't force all mothers to breast-feed their babies. What about those who can't? They need an alternative. Brest may be best but like its been said, the formula isn't harmfull to babies. If they want their child to have breast-milk but are unable to breast-feed then they can always just use a pump!
I don't see wy the adverts should be banned, seems very stupid.
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Angelil
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Jennybean - the poster I keep seeing in my doctor's surgery (maybe it's quite old, it's been there a while) basically shows a scan photo and then an (allegedly real) quotation underneath it from 21-year-old Tracy: "Wow, I can't wait - I'm going to do everything I can to give my baby the best start in life" (i.e. implying that mothers who can't breastfeed somehow don't want to give their baby the best start).
I'm not anti-breastfeeding AT ALL - I'm just rather inclined to think that the pro-breastfeeding posters are worse than the pro-formula advertising.
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tinypony
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Breastfeeding provides babies with essential anti-bodies and a whole lot of other things. Baby milk just cannot compete with the real thing, yet they try to persuade young, naive women that they can.
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GarethBrown
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(Original post by Angelil)
Jennybean - the poster I keep seeing in my doctor's surgery (maybe it's quite old, it's been there a while) basically shows a scan photo and then an (allegedly real) quotation underneath it from 21-year-old Tracy: "Wow, I can't wait - I'm going to do everything I can to give my baby the best start in life" (i.e. implying that mothers who can't breastfeed somehow don't want to give their baby the best start).
I'm not anti-breastfeeding AT ALL - I'm just rather inclined to think that the pro-breastfeeding posters are worse than the pro-formula advertising.
Arguably, the posters are a result of aggressive formula advertisement, to even the odds as it were. (I don't actually know though, it just sounds more likely to me)

Free samples shouldn't be allowed internationally, let alone here (if that's true). It's effectively the same as a drug dealer giving a few free hits of heroin then smacking a huge price on it (Excuse the pun )
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Jennybean
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(Original post by Angelil)
Jennybean - the poster I keep seeing in my doctor's surgery (maybe it's quite old, it's been there a while) basically shows a scan photo and then an (allegedly real) quotation underneath it from 21-year-old Tracy: "Wow, I can't wait - I'm going to do everything I can to give my baby the best start in life" (i.e. implying that mothers who can't breastfeed somehow don't want to give their baby the best start).
I'm not anti-breastfeeding AT ALL - I'm just rather inclined to think that the pro-breastfeeding posters are worse than the pro-formula advertising.
Hmm yeah that isn't exactly the most tactfully expressed sentiment but like you say maybe it's old. Perhaps you could ask if they would take it down if you think it may bother people? Often if you see something every day you just never think about it, it might not have occurred to the receptionists/nurses/whoever that it's outdated and possibly not conducive to a supportive environment. I think it's easy for someone not in the situation to say "Well it should be obvious that the poster isn't targeted at mothers who can't breastfeed" but I can see how if you were tired and fraught that could quite easily make you feel guilty and like you hadn't tried hard enough, or didn't care as much as a mother who did manage to breastfeed.
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Chezua
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#18
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although it has never been proven that formula milk is harmful, i'd say ban for their ads. i don't think anything can replace breast milk. but formula milk itself shouldn't be banned because obviously there are some mothers out there who are unable to give that service to their children. ('service', is that the right word? lol).
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interllectuallity
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#19
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definately ,breast milk is the best for the baby as it gives the baby immunity. The only benifit of formula milk iis that it gives the mother a break from sore breasts. But i would suffer and have sore breasts if i new that it was in the best interest of my child and would reduce the number of trips that i would have to make to the hospital in the future.
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Angelil
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#20
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^^ That's just you spieling about the benefits of breast milk, though, not you giving a legitimate response as to whether the formula milk ads should be banned or not.

I love it when people don't even read the first post, don't you? :rolleyes:
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