Watchdog bans Ogilvy formula milk ads

LONDON - Two print ads for Nutricia's Cow & Gate follow-on formula have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

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Text in both ads, created by Ogilvy Advertising, stated: "Cow & Gate follow-on milks support your baby’s natural immune system." Small print added that the product should only be used as part of a mixed diet and not as a breastmilk substitute before six months.

The National Childbirth Trust felt the ads misleadingly implied that the product could "boost" the immune system of children or babies.

The ASA also challenged the claim "Cow & Gate follow-on milks support your baby’s natural immune system" in both ads and challenged whether it could be substantiated.

Cow & Gate argued that the ads did not claim to "boost" the immune system but to "support" it.

The ASA dismissed complaints over the ads’ claims of "boosting" a child’s immune system and did not find them in breach of the CAP code on this point.

However, in relation to claims that the formula helped to build an infant’s natural immune system, the ASA found the ad to be misleading as readers could misinterpret it as meaning all natural defences.

The ASA also instructed Nutricia Milupa to adapt the content of a magazine ad, for Aptamil follow-on milk, which claimed to be superior to all other formulas on the market.