Toddler milk ad banned over iron claim

AN ad for toddler formula milk has been banned for falsely claiming that most young children do not get enough iron.

The television campaign for Cow & Gate Complete Care Growing Up Milk said: “Did you know eight out of 10 toddlers aren’t getting enough iron?”

It continued: “It’s not surprising — meeting 50% of their needs would mean drinking 12 litres of cow’s milk per day, or just two beakers of Cow & Gate Complete Care Growing Up Milk.”

On-screen text read: “Recommended daily intake of iron = 6.9mg from a variety of iron-rich foods which may include Growing Up Milk.”

Three people challenged the company’s claim.

Nutricia, a company within Cow & Gate parent group Danone, supplied the figures. It said a 2009 study examined the nutritional values of the diets of 185 toddlers and believed it showed they were not meeting the recommended nutrient intake for iron.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in Britain said most viewers would interpret the ad to mean that their child was deficient in iron if they received less than 6.9mg a day.

However, the ASA said expert advice stated there was no recommended daily allowance of iron for toddlers and the value of iron recommended for children between the ages of one and three years was 6mg. It ruled the ad must not be broadcast in its current form.


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