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Global Media and the Nestle Boycott - Essay Example

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Global Media and the Nestle Boycott

One of the main concerns for the widespread use of infant formula among children is the high number of deaths especially in the least developed countries (LDC) where mothers substitute breastfeeding with infant formula. Nestle has been accused of its aggressive marketing strategies that convinces mothers in poor countries to abandon breastfeeding their children and resort to infant formula. This has attracted the longest boycott in history known as Nestle Boycott where organizations concerned with the Nestle’s marketing practices of its controversial infant product in third world countries despite the linkage of the product to the high rates of deaths among babies in those countries. The organizations that participate in Nestle Boycott have a number of arguments that they believe are worthy stopping Nestle to engage in the marketing of infant formula in LDC. In view of the immense social, cultural, and economic differences between first and third world countries, it is acutely unethical for core nation corporations such as Nestle to implement their marketing techniques in peripheral nations without realizing the severe consequences. The Genesis of the Boycott Henri Nestle, the founder of Nestle, S.A. is credited with inventing the first artificial food products for babies in the world in 1866. After New Internationalist magazine published a story about the unethical marketing strategies that Nestle employed to sell its product to mothers in 1973 and in a booklet called The Baby Killer, in 1974, the company continues to face a boycott of its product infant formula. Nestle became the topic of consumer boycotts in the 1970s owing to its marketing practices. Powdered milk formula for infants was distributed free in hospitals to mothers who had given birth to newborn babies. What attracted the attention of consumers was the fact that this practice had not been witnessed in core countries like United States of America and England but only in less developed countries where the mothers were concerned about breastfeeding their babies. One of the most well known controversies involving Nestle involves the advertising and marketing of infant formula products to mothers in LDC around the world. The issue came up and attracted world attention in 1977 because of the Nestle boycott. Nestle continues to face criticism that the company violates the 1981 World Health Organization code that instituted regulations for marketing and advertising of breast milk substitutes (Solomon, p. 2).  The controversial issue led to the formation of groups such as the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) and Save the Children who continues to provide evidences that the promotion of infant formula over breastfeeding lead health problems and deaths among infants in less economically developed countries. Nevertheless, Nestle has continuous counteracted these claims by initiating company policies that are geared towards encouraging mothers to breastfeed their children and only resort to infant formula in cases where it is completely impossible to breast feed. Because of aggressive marketing strategies by Nestle, free samples were distributed at maternity units, and by Nestle sales representatives who addressed as quasi-medical personnel. The critiques of this marketing strategy pointed out that poor mother were being persuaded to resort to infant ...Show more

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Name Date The Nestle Boycott Introduction Nestle S.A is a multinational company that was founded in 1905 in Switzerland. The company deals with health related products and specifically baby foods, which it sells around the world…
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