Somerfield warned over baby milk loyalty scheme

Supermarket chain Somerfield has been urged to stop including baby milk in its loyalty scheme in advance of guidelines on the promotion of baby foods to be published shortly.

The chain is introducing the Premier Points loyalty card into all of its 600 stores, and cardholders can receive discount points for purchases of baby milk and over-the-counter medicines. Somerfield is the only major supermarket to include these two product groups in its loyalty scheme. Rival Safeway withdrew baby milk from its ABC loyalty scheme after its activities were outlined in Marketing Week (September 8 1995).

The Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food & Trading, which is due to publish a report on the promotion of baby milk within the next month, says Somerfield should withdraw baby milk from the scheme. Senior executive officer Les Bailey says: “It shouldn’t be included because it could encourage the purchase of a particular type of product. We are close to finalising guidelines, and it is wise to exclude these products until we have decided.”

Somerfield insists it has taken legal advice and that it is permitted to include both baby milk and medicines in the loyalty scheme.

Pressure group Baby Milk Action argues that breast feeding is the best way to feed babies. A spokeswoman says: “Nothing should be done to induce mothers to buy bottled baby milk. Somerfield is probably breaking the law. Others have been more responsible about that.”

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

    If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now