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Baby formula industry must end ‘misleading and aggressive’ online marketing: World Health Organization |



Research shows companies are paying for social media platforms and influencers have direct access to women and pregnant mothers at some of the most vulnerable times in their lives, through personalized content that is not normally recognized as advertising.

Methods used include apps, virtual support groups or “kids clubs”, advertisements and contests, as well as forums or consulting services.

Increase sale revenue

This viral marketing is increasing the purchase of breast milk substitutes, WHO said, therefore advised mothers to exclusively breastfeed as recommended by the UN agency.

“The advertising of commercial formula should have been stopped decades ago,” speak Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of the WHO’s Department of Nutrition and Food Safety.

“The fact that formula companies are now using even more aggressive and aggressive marketing techniques to increase their sales is inexplicable and needs to be stopped.”

90 posts a day

The report, titled Scope and Impact of Digital Marketing Strategies to Promote Breast Milk Substitutes, is the second in a series and follows a original research, published in February, about how formula marketing influences our decisions about infant feeding.

It summarizes the findings of new research that sampled and analyzed four million social media posts about infant feeding published between January and June 2021 using the listening platform. commercial society.

The posts reached nearly 2.5 billion people and generated more than 12 million likes, shares or comments.

According to research, formula companies post content to their social media accounts about 90 times per day, reaching 229 million users – or three times the number of people reached by informative posts about feeding. breastfed babies from non-commercial accounts.

Misleading and destructive

The authors also gathered evidence from social listening research on public online media and individual country research reports that tracked breast milk replacement promotions.

They also drew on a recent international study of the formula marketing experience of mothers and health professionals.

Studies have revealed how false marketing reinforces myths about breastfeeding and undermines women’s confidence in their ability to breastfeed successfully.

End all ads

WHO has called on the baby food industry stop exploitative formula marketingand governments protect children and families by enacting, monitoring and enforcing laws to cease all advertising or other promotion of infant formula products.

The agency said the rise of global digital marketing for formula blatantly violated a key international rule on the marketing of breast milk substitutes, adopted 40 years ago, the agency said.

The agreement is designed to protect the public and mothers from the aggressive marketing practices of the baby food industry by the baby food industry that have a negative impact on breastfeeding practices.

WHO says the fact that these forms of digital marketing can evade scrutiny from national health and surveillance authorities shows the need for new approaches to regulation and practice. code exam.

Despite strong evidence that exclusive and continued breastfeeding is a key determinant of lifelong health improvements for children, women and communities, too few children are Breastfeeding as recommended.

WHO warns this rate could fall further if current formula marketing strategies continue.



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