Complaints, including one from the British Specialist Nutrition Association (BSNA), also opposed the series of reviews that confused infant formula with follow-up formula and made health claims for Kendamil products.
In response, Kendamil said the quotes in the ad were automatically pulled from consumer reviews left on Facebook and other third-party websites and integrated into their website. As a result, they had no editorial control over the content of these reviews.
They added that they did not believe the assertion “Benefits my daughter like breast milk did”Discouraged breastfeeding by stating that the claim was âWas meant to mean that the formulas they produced were closest to breastfeeding. “
The Kendal-based company added that it had provided evidence to support claims “benefited my daughter like breast milk did”, “excellent for her development” and “the colic and constipation … ceased immediately … “.
They did not believe that the claims made confused infant formula with follow-on formula.
In its assessment, the ASA acknowledged Kendamil’s comments regarding a lack of editorial control, but pointed out that the third-party reviews were user-generated content that had been adopted and incorporated into Kendamil’s own website.
“We considered the website to be under the control of Kendamil and directly related to the supply of goods through their online store,”added the Authority. âThe website and its content were therefore an advertisement for the purposes of the Code. “
Regarding the confusion between infant formula and follow-on formula, the ASA believed consumers would understand the statement “… my son is 9 months old and has been taking him since birth”to signify that the ad promoted Kendamil infant formula.
âWe further considered that the babies shown were not clearly identifiable as being over six months of age and this contributed to the impression that this was an advertisement for infant formula. We therefore considered that the advertising had the effect of marketing infant formula.
The ASA also added that the lack of clarity in the reviews caused ambiguity as to whether the ad referred to infant formula or follow-on formula.
âBecause the advertisement had the effect of marketing infant formula, which was prohibited under the Code, and because it confused infant formula and follow-on formula, which was also prohibited under the Code, we found that she had violated the Code. “ASA said
“Prevent, treat or cure human diseases”
The Code had also been violated with the allegations “Benefits my daughter like breast milk did”and “Excellent for its development”, according to ASA, who felt consumers would understand these claims, when taken with pictures of a child who appeared to be under six months of age, as referring to infant formula.
Also prohibited are claims that affirmed or implied that a food could prevent, treat or cure human disease were prohibited for foods; this requirement also applied to infant formulas and follow-on formulas.
âWe considered that consumers would understand from the claim “Colic and constipation … stopped right away”that using Kendamil’s products may prevent and treat colic and constipation in babies.
“We therefore considered that the ad made disease treatment claims for a food and concluded that it violated the Code.”
The advertisement should no longer appear in the offending form. We have asked Kendamil to ensure that its future marketing communications do not refer, implicitly or explicitly, to infant formula or confuse infant formula with follow-on formula.
“[Marketing communications must not] make claims or statements that discourage breastfeeding; make health or nutritional claims for infant formulas; and state or imply that a food could prevent, treat or cure human disease.