Czech Republic – Circumventing the International Code with breast pumps

Code Violations
Promotion to the public

Philips Avent

AAmstelplein 2 Breitner Center
P.O Box 77900
1070 MX Amsterdam
The Netherlands

On Philips Avent Czech Republic Facebook page, the company encourages users to register as members of its Avent programme to stand a chance to win either a ‘breastfeeding set’ that includes feeding bottles and teats or a food blender.  The participant is also required to write comments on the company’s Facebook page about which gift they would like to win, why and for whom.

Companies often exploit social media platforms such as Facebook to post promotional programmes for their products

When a Facebook user commented on the page that the company violates the International Code through the programme, Avent denied it was a violation.  The company responded that the breastfeeding set for the contest also ‘includes a breast pump’, conveniently using the the breast pump as a decoy for the promotion of feeding bottles and teats. Avent also justified their programme on the ground that not all mothers are able to breastfeed naturally and the contest was a voluntary one where mothers can freely exercise their own judgments to join or not.

A case of not seeing the wood for the trees! Avent justifies its actions by saying that mums are responsible for their own actions.