The decision of the Scottish government to follow the Nordic practice of giving all new mothers Baby Boxes full of useful unbranded things (Click Here) is being exploited by Amazon – who are commercialising and cashing in on the idea with Baby Bundles that include baby bottles, dummies and ‘feeding packs’.
“Amazon are helping out new parents all across the country by giving away a free “baby box” filled with £40 worth of products, to all Prime parents who spend £20 on the site. Included in the freebie box is a Nemo teddy, a bottle, some nappy rash cream, Water Wipes, a soother and a Nuby feeding pack, which add up to equal £40 in total, and they’re all packed up nicely in a keepsake, custom-designed box.”
Amazon seems to have missed the point that Finland’s 80-year-old scheme was designed to reduce cot deaths and infant mortality rates, and tackle poverty and inequality, not act as a free sampling service for the baby feeding and products industries. The Finnish boxes are part of a wider scheme that helped reduce the number of infants deaths from 10 percent to 0.2 per cent – one of the lowest rates in the world.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The baby box is such a simple idea but has been proven to have a real impact, reducing child mortality and helping families at the start of a child’s life. By providing every new-born with a baby box we can help child health – and by providing greater support to new family we will also help tackle child poverty and improve the chances of some of our most deprived children.
“Alongside the material and financial support we will deliver, it is important that parents get advice when they need it – and we’ll recruit 500 new health visitors by 2018 to better-support Scotland’s families and further extend the family nurse partnership, which supports some of our youngest and most vulnerable parents.”
NB: Although EU and UK legislation does not cover the promotion of bottles and teats, such products are clearly covered by the scope of the International Code and should not be promoted.
Article 2. Scope of the Code
The Code applies to the marketing, and practices related thereto, of the following products: breastmilk substitutes, including infant formula; other milk products, foods and beverages, including bottle-fed complementary foods, when marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable, with or without modification,for use as a partial or total replacement of breast-milk; feeding bottles and teats. It also applies to their quality and availability, and to information concerning their use.
Article 5. The general public and mothers
5.1 There should be no advertising or other form of promotion to the general public of products within the scope of this Code.
5.2 Manufacturers and distributors should not provide, directly or indirectly, to pregnant women, mothers or members of their families, samples of products within the scope of this Code.