The Rules Around Advertising Infant Formula

When I had Juliet 6 years ago, I was very fortunate and able to breastfeed her for the first 12 months. Breastfeeding is rightly championed as the best way to feed your baby because there are so many benefits to it; not only does breastmilk include exactly the right balance of nutrients for babies, but it also reduces the chances of allergies and infections, type 2 diabetes, and it’s linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

However, having spoken to many new parents, I know that not everyone can, or chooses to, breastfeed their newborns. While we’d never discourage any new mums from breastfeeding because of the well-known benefits, I feel really strongly about removing the stigma around mums who aren’t breastfeeding, and about making sure they have all the information about the options available to them.

Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the role that infant formula plays in baby nutrition, there has been considerable research which concludes that breastfeeding is the most beneficial route to take. The WHO & the British Specialist Nutrition Association (BSNA) therefore recommend that babies are exclusively breastfed until they’re 6 months old.

Based on this research, there are lots of rules set out around the advertisement of formula milk. Most noticeably, these rules mean that infant formula – for babies younger than 6 months – is never advertised to the general public (you can find formula products suitable from birth to 6 months in the supermarket, but you should never see adverts for these products).

Once a baby is over 6 months old, the rules change and you will see adverts for products suitable for babies over this age. But all products have to be clearly labelled with a legal notice which explains that breastfeeding is best for babies. Follow-on milk is not a suitable substitute after 6 months and to use on the advice of healthcare professionals

So, when you enter the milk section of our website, that’s why we have the pop-up. This pop-up ensures people understand the benefits of breastfeeding before they decide to go down another route – you’ll see these across the market. It can be confusing, and a bit frustrating when you’re trying to find the right product for you, but we hope this article explains the legalities around formula and reassures you that it’s there with good intentions.

If you have any further questions, please do get in touch with us at