Thursday, December 3, 2009

Legal verdict reached regarding formula advertising and store brand formula

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

Although I was able to breastfeed Ethan when he was an infant, at about 9 months of age he decided that he really preferred the bottle to Mommy. And since I had returned to work by that time and I really hated pumping at the office, my husband and I decided that we would use formula for Ethan's bottles. When I went to the store and looked at the multitude of formula choices, I gravitated towards the type of formula that he had used for the first few days of his life. And then I was a little stunned by the huge price tag for the formula in question and naturally, being a serious bargain shopper, was drawn to the store brand formula sitting next to the name brand formula. When I picked up the two cans and compared them side by side, the ingredients were completely identical, line for line. So I happily bought storebrand formula for the next few months and used it with great success. Ethan grew and thrived and happily drank his bottles.

I was actually unaware that Mead Johnson, a maker of namebrand formulas such as Enfamil Lipil, had released an advertising campaign in which it claimed that "It may be tempting to try a less expensive store brand, but only Enfamil LIPIL is clinically proven to improve brain and eye development," and "there are plenty of other ways to save on baby expenses without cutting back on nutrition." I find that line of advertising a little confusing, especially since the store brand formula and the name brand have the same ingredients at the same levels.

Apparently the jury in this case thinks like I do, and they awarded a favorable verdict and $13.5 million in damages to PBM Products (a leading infant formula company that supplies store-brand formula to Walmart, Sams Club, Target, Kroger, Walgreens and other retailers) in its false advertising lawsuit against Mead Johnson. Mead Johnson is also permanently enjoined from making future false advertising claims against PBM and store brand infant formulas. The sad thing is that this advertising campaign probably convinced a number of families that they weren't feeding their babies right if they used store brand formulas, resulting in the families spending hundreds of extra dollars in one year of formula purchasing.

So, looks like I was right! Store brand formulas provide great nutrition for your formula fed baby, at a significant savings to your pocketbook. I used them with success before and if Vivian ends up being a formula baby, I will happily use store brand formulas again, without hesitation. 

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