Nestlé Infant Formula
Mohammad Ul Haque
MG660- Strategic Marketing
Professor Jorge Zavala-Vinces
1. If you had been an executive with Nestlé, would you have changed your marketing approach after the boycotts began?
Nestlé’s marketing tactics in promoting the use of infant formula in Third World countries wasn’t moral. Nestlé was not acting within the boundaries of moral standards. Every corporation must understand and realize the corporate ethics and responsibilities they should have. The problem was that Nestlé used unqualified sales girls, the distribution of free samples, marketed to people who ...view middle of the document...
In addition to educating the public, I would recommend Nestle run advertisements to promote the use of infants drinking breast milk for the first couple months of their lives before switching to formula. The Nestle Corporation needs to take another look at their target market and realize that in third world countries, not only do they need to adapt to their language, but they need to be educated on the literacy rate there. Nestle can be held responsible if they market to areas of a country that they know aren’t more economically developed and the literacy rate is very low.
2. Did Nestlé suffer long-term damage because of its third world marketing techniques?
Nestlé suffer long-term damage because of its third world marketing techniques. The boycott against Nestlé’s products and eventually those of the infant formula manufacturers generated the largest support of consumer movement in North American and its impact is still being felt in the industry, governments, and citizen’s action groups around the world. The Nestlé boycott became one of the most successful consumer boycotts in history lasting 7 years, it ended in 1984 after talks with Nestlé, WHO, UNICEF and Muskie Commission Activist groups. It was the largest non-union boycott in history with over 100 organizations in 65 countries. It cost Nestlé as much as $5.8 million in lost revenue. Nestlé boycotts spread from Switzerland and Britain to the US, where shareholder activism and court challenges against other milk companies – led by the Sisters of the Precious Blood, a religious order working under the umbrella of the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility – achieved a fine balance between grassroots organising, legal process and catchy communication. The campaigns attracted wide-spread support from medical professionals, health authorities and civil society in developing countries. So in 1981, the UN World Health Assembly (the governing body of the World Health Organisation) recommended the adoption of an international code of conduct to govern the promotion and sale of breast milk substitutes. Global regulation of consumer industries was – and remains – a threat to business. UN resolutions are "soft law" that have little direct effect, yet often lead to hard national enforcement.
The boycott holds Nestlé to account and forces it to make changes, while also keeping the issue in the public eye (see Nestlé boycott successes). However, Nestlé continues systematic violations in those countries which have not yet brought in independently monitored and enforced legislation implementing the marketing requirements, which is another part of our strategy for protecting infant health and mothers’ rights.
The boycott will continue until Nestlé accepts and complies with Baby Milk Action’s four-point plan for saving infant lives and ultimately ending the boycott.
As the largest company, Nestlé sets trends others follow. It also takes the lead in undermining...