Tesco Breaks Code

15 09 2009
Email, phone, write letters.
SMA Starter Pack
alternative image
The SMA Starter Pack (28 Clubcard Points)
The SMA gold is a nutritionally complete infant milk. It can be used as the first infant milk you should choose or to complement breast feeding. SMA gold can be added to older babies food. It is gluten free. Also available in cans of powder.

Formula advertising and promotion, pure and simple. Yes, it’s to buy from their online service. No, it’s not point of sale.

    Restrictions on advertising of infant formulae
    17.—(1) No person shall publish or display any advertisement for an infant formula—

      (a) except—

        (i) in a publication specialising in baby care and distributed only through the health care system;
        (ii) in a scientific publication; or
        (iii) for the purposes of trade prior to the retail stage, in a publication of which the intended readership is other than the general public; and
      (b) which does not comply with the requirements, prohibitions and restrictions relating to labelling contained in regulations 13(1)(h), (2) and (3) and 15.

    (2) An advertisement for an infant formula shall contain only information of a scientific and factual nature. Such information shall not imply or seek to create a belief that bottle-feeding is equivalent or superior to breast-feeding.

And.. they are offering double reward points. Again, completely against Code.
    Restrictions on promotion of infant formulae
    19. No person shall at any place where any infant formula is sold by retail—

      (a) advertise any infant formula;
      (b) make any special display of an infant formula designed to promote sales;
      (c) give away—

        (i) any infant formula as a free sample; or
        (ii) any coupon which may be used to purchase an infant formula at a discount;
      (d) promote the sale of an infant formula by means of premiums, special sales, loss- leaders or tie-in sales; or
      (e) undertake any other promotional activity to induce the sale of an infant formula.

    20. No manufacturer or distributor of any infant formula shall provide for promotional purposes any infant formula free or at a reduced or discounted price, or any gift designed to promote the sale of an infant formula, to—

      (a) the general public;
      (b) pregnant women;
      (c) mothers; or
      (d) members of the families of persons mentioned in sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) above,

    either directly, or indirectly through the health care system or health workers.

TESCO DIRECT: If you need to speak to someone, please contact us on 0845 6004411**, 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm on Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sunday

PO Box 73
Baird Avenue
Dryburgh Industrial Estate
Dundee
DD1 9NF


I’ll try and find a person in authority phone number tomorrow.

Complaints about website advertising and promotion are processed by Trading Standards, not the Advertising Standards Authority. However, the ASA will do the promotions part of the code breaking, so you need to complain to both.

Trading Standards – put your postcode into the Consumer Direct box at base of page. Complaint against breech Clause 17 of Infant and Follow on Formula Regulations, 1995.

ASA: Go Through the complaints form citing the double rewards points breaking Clause 19 & 20.

EDIT: When phoning Tesco Direct, they will claim it’s ‘Groceries’ and not them, as they don’t sell formula. Ask them to put “SMA Starter Pack” into their search engine, and it comes up under Tesco Direct. Young man I just spoke to ws well informed and knew form his training that reward points cannot be given for formula. So phone tonight!

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13 responses

16 09 2009
Muddling Along Mummy

Gah – its just a continuous battle to keep these things from happening, isn't itbtw what are your thoughts on the Lloyds TSB add where the aspirational pushchair has a baby bottle in a holder on the side. Is this trying to subtly say that the top of the range Mum needs to give her baby a bottle of formula or am I being too paranoid?

16 09 2009
Morgan

Haven't seen it, and will have a look out for it. It's the standard baby bottle = motherhood thing, I'd imagine. As opposed to the actuality of baby bottle = death.And yes, it's a war of attrition….

16 09 2009
Muddling Along Mummy

This is the one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxsDlTwVmhY)… What makes me cross is normal pram has no bottle but top of the range does…Its subliminal things like this that have turned us into a nation of formula feeders when actually we should be supporting women to feed as nature intended

16 09 2009
16 09 2009
TBM

Just been told that the points are automatically generated, they're just looking into the advertsing violation.

16 09 2009
Morgan

The points aren't generated automatically on the Groceries site. So if they've sorted it for one, they can sort it for the other!

16 09 2009
TBM

Sorry for multiple posts:"it has already been reported to our higher management and is being removed it was a mistake that it got on there"

28 09 2009
mammydiaries

Just wondering, Tesco has changed the packaging on their own brand to feature a mother bottle feeding her baby. Does this violate the code at all?

28 09 2009
Morgan

Yes, it does: (2) The labelling of an infant formula shall not include— (a) any picture of an infant;Do you have a photo?

29 09 2009
Morgan

mammydiaries: No one can find any trace of a Tesco own brand for formula or follow on milk.Could you be really specific and let us know what 'own brand' you are referring to please?If it's a range of baby products, as opposed to baby milk, then using a bottle is against Code, but not the UK law version of the Code. It's a gray area/loophole.But some more details would be appreciated. 🙂

4 10 2009
Anonymous

It makes me so crazy! Is it only "first stage" infant formula that the standards apply to? There was a horrendous editorial in Easy Living magazine suggesting Aptamil follow on was a damn good thing! And has anyone seen the BBC News ad/trailer that shows a dad watching BBC news 24 whilst bottle feeding a very tiny baby? Why is all this okay? WHO recommends breastfeeding for infants until 2 years, so why is only advertising bannded for infants under 6 months? But the worst aspect for me; in a lecture just last week I sat listening in horror as a room full of medical students were told that (by an apparent expert) formula feeding is better for babies who are born in the North of England in the winter (because of vit D deficiency!). Imagine – a whole room of tomorrows doctors scribbling this down….

7 10 2009
Anonymous

I saw an extremely similar violation in Boots today. Triple points when you buy £20 worth of baby goods. The signs had arrows pointing at the first formula milk.

28 01 2010
Barbara

Hi, I noticed that Lloyds TSB have in fact REMOVED the offending botlle from their advert!!Yeaaaah!!

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