read the latest newscodewatch: meet the code-breakersread the latest Boycott news, and join the Nestlé boycottjoin Baby Milk Actionvisit the Resource Centresearch our growing databaselinks to breastfeeding resourcescontact Baby Milk Action

It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, but companies can still get away with saying ‘nothing could be simpler or safer’ than bottle-feeding

10 May 2004

The International Code bans the advertising and promotion of feeding bottles and teats. Companies are called on to abide the Code independently of government measures (Article 11.3). Yet in the UK, where there is no legislation regulating the marketing of feeding bottles and teats, the products are widely and aggressively marketed. Many current parenting magazines contain advertisements for bottles and teats and do not contain any statement of the superiority of breastfeeding or the impact of introducing bottle feeds.

The advertisement shown here from Maws is one of the most shocking (from Prima Baby magazine July 2001) goes so far as to say "nothing could be simpler or safer" than using its feeding bottle and directly equates its bottle to breasts. There was and is nothing in UK regulations to stop such idealising promotion.

It states:

"Mother Nature knows the perfect temperature for serving milk... she's not the only one. The HEAT SENSOR bottle from Maws. Breast milk is naturally delivered at body temperature, around 38 deg. C. Now, thanks fo the Heat Sensor bottle from MAWS, every bottle you feed your baby can also be the perfect temperature. The built-in safety stripe changes colour, giving you total peace of mind at a glance - "pink is too hot, purple is not" - so much more advanced than the "milk-on-the-wrist" technique. Nothing could be simpler or safer and better still, the bottle comes complete with the unique MAWS Variflo teat, clinically proven to reduce crying."

There is not even small print giving a 'breast is best' message as the baby food companies put on their formula advertisements (which are also banned under the Code, but commonplace in the UK).

press index