A series of reports by the WHO and UNICEF explore how the $55 billion breastmilk substitute industry uses pervasive, personalised and powerful marketing strategies to target parents
In November 2020, the World Health Assembly (WHA) requested that the World Health Organization (WHO) review current evidence and prepare a report describing how digital marketing strategies are being used for the promotion of breastmilk substitutes.
As a result, the following reports have been published alongside a series of webinars available on this page:
- How marketing of formula milk influences our decisions on infant feeding: This report systematically examines women’s and health professionals’ experiences of formula milk marketing. The largest ever study of its kind, it draws on surveys with over 8,500 pregnant women and mothers of young children (aged 0-18 months) across eight countries, and more than 300 health professionals.
- Scope and impact of digital marketing strategies for promoting breastmilk substitutes: The second in the WHO series, this report examines in greater depth the scope, techniques and impact of digital marketing strategies for the promotion of breastmilk substitutes.
- Learn more about The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (the Code) in our Guide for Health Workers.
- For more information on breastfeeding and bottle feeding, explore our selection of resources, including our 2016 Call to Action campaign which was launched to protect the public from harmful and misleading marketing. As a result of this campaign in 2019, Channel 4 Dispatches explored how powerful multi-national companies have been pushing the boundaries of existing legislation to promote their products.
- For in-depth information on infant formulas in the UK, please visit First Steps Nutrition Trust
- You See, They See: Formula milk marketing and infant feeding | A video by the World Health Organization (WHO)