The Ethics of Marketing Nestles Infant Formula
Issue in Question:
Nestlé’s marketing of infant formula
First world product in a third world country
First world products in a third world market
Risk conditions are present
Can a product be marketed in an area that it cannot be guaranteed?
Evolution of a public issue
In 1970 an organized campaign was established by the Protein Calorie Advisory Group ( PAG) 2.
The claim was that: “Nestle pushed its products to mothers, many of whom lived in circumstances that made the use of such products a highly risky adventure”. 3.
Corporate advertisers by the infant formula companies had promoted the idea that bottle feeding was better than breast feeding •
The formula is sold in a powder form and must have a “clean” water supply Ex. Developing Nations have poor water quality and subject the child to disease 2.
“Since the product must be mixed, preparation instructions are important and mother must be able to read. Unfortunately, the rate of illiteracy is very high in developing nations”. 3.
The price of the formula caused the mothers to over dilute the formula in an attempt to stretch the formula for a few extra days. 4.
Over diluting caused the baby to be malnourished
Peter Muller (journalist)
Travelled to Africa, in the early 1970’s to study allegations of market abuse 2.
Sponsored by a British charity group called the “War on Want” 3.
He published many article’s in 1974 titled “Baby Killers” 4.
Nestlé’s the largest producer of formula was targeted as being unethical because of his articles •
“Nestle Baby Killers” Switzerland
Phase 1 of the evolution of a public issue
Reprint of the articles in Switzerland by a Swiss public action group, lead to a change in the tile of the articles to “Nestle Baby Killers” 2.
Nestle sued the Swiss public action group and the case came to trial in Switzerland in 1975 •
Phase2 of the...
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