One of the UK’s largest baby formula manufacturers has seen its advert banned for misleading health claims and mixing up its own products.
According to the Advertising Standards Authority, a Kendamil advert showcasing glowing customer reviews were “ambiguous” in which formula they referred to.
Companies must distinguish between infant and follow-on formulas under the advertising code.
Follow-on formula is only safe for children over six months because it contains higher levels of iron and other minerals.
Some reviews appeared to praise Kendamil’s infant formula, suitable for newly-born babies, which has been illegal to advertise since 1995.
The pictured babies “were not clearly identifiable as being over the age of six months”, the watchdog ruled.
Kendamil’s advert faced a roll-call of other issues, including breaking the Department of Health’s ban on comparing baby formulas to breastmilk.
“I researched high and low for a formula brand […] that would benefit my daughter the way breastmilk had,” read one review.
Claims that the product cured “colic and constipation” were also deemed illegal.
The advert has now been banned, despite the manufacturer’s protests that it could not control the reviews, which had been automatically been lifted from Facebook.
In April this year, Kendamil hailed a “game-changer” for the brand when it secured a supply contract for 545 Tesco stores.
Its formulas are now sold across all Big 4 grocers plus Waitrose and Ocado.