The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint by a doctor against a poster campaign for the fortified milk.
It showed two highchairs, one with two steaks and a knife and fork with the
words ‘2 steaks will help give your toddler their daily iron’ and the other with a bottle of the milk and the line ‘Our milk is another way to support their physical development’.
The complainant claimed the main reason for iron deficiency in under five-year-olds was over-reliance on milk and said it was irresponsible to encourage parents to give their children formula milk instead of food.
Despite a line on the poster stating the milk was designed only as part of a toddler’s diet, and evidence showing toddlers who drank follow-on milk had a lower risk of iron deficiency than those on cow’s milk, the ASA said: “The ad implied Aptamil was a replacement for food rather than for cow’s milk and could discourage appropriate weaning on to iron-rich food.”