IBFAN-ICDC Launches its 11th Global Monitoring Report
Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2017

Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2017 (BTR 2017) is a compilation of marketing practices from around the world that violate the International Code over the past 3 years. Collected from IBFAN’s regional and country groups and volunteers, it contains almost 800 legally-vetted entries on 28 companies from 79 countries.

These big and medium-size baby food companies pay lip service to the Code in public and claim to be staunch breastfeeding supporters, but their violations prove otherwise. In light of the urgent demand for greater corporate accountability from governments, civil society, and international agencies, BTR 2017 is more than just a collection of Code violations. It offers a comprehensive look on how companies are ever finding new ways to:

  • undermine breastfeeding and optimal infant and young child feeding
  • challenge public interest in exchange for corporate profit
  • interfere with public health recommendations in order to influence parents’ decisions, and
  • weaken governments’ ability to regulate unethical and unlawful corporate practices

Marketing themes are identified, including those that are “stretching the rules” and practices that give rise to conflicts of interest.

You will find in BTR 2017:

  • Close to 800 Code violations from 79 countries organised by company, into 28 chapters. Entries are then sub-categorised by country and by Code provision.
  • Introduction and Executive Summary that provide an overview and brief analysis of current and new marketing tactics.
  • Background information, including company profile and key marketing strategies of 28 companies (18 baby food and 10 bottle and teat companies).
  • Look What They’re Doing Reports” on Cambodia, China, Egypt, Latin America, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, USA, and Vietnam by selected companies.
  • Where Do They Differ?” Detailed analysis on Code compliance policy manuals for employees of two baby food giants, Nestle and Danone, and comparison to the International Code.
  • Special reports on marketing trends and Code-related news.
  • Marketing strategies intended to circumvent the International Code, such as promotion of new products, social media promotion tactics, breastfeeding promotion, and public-private partnerships.
  • Overview of the International Code and subsequent relevant WHA resolutions, including  the latest WHO Guidance on Ending the Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children.

 

BTR 2017 is a useful tool to:

  • Name and shame companies and hold them accountable for better marketing behaviour
  • Advocate for better health governance
  • Detect legal or regulatory loopholes as basis for amendments or new laws
  • Help make appropriate policy decisions
  • Inform international agencies and NGOs on nutrition programme-planning
  • Provide objective evaluation on ethical investments and company compliance and self-monitoring initiatives
  • Promote civic governance by raising awareness on community level
  • Support ongoing Code advocacy and breastfeeding protection work