(Long specific title in hopes of landing high on a google search for the The Research Institute of Mother and Child Care)
Today, Mindy and I received a fairly plain letter in the mail from The Research Institute of Mother and Child Care asking us to fill out a few page survey about ‘feeding methods.’ In my initial glance it struck me as a small non-profit research group gathering data to benefit mother’s and children. So, Mindy and I decided to take a few minutes and fill out the survey.
About five minutes into the survey I start thinking about the questions, they are way to specific about infant formula marketing. Questions like, “Check the brands of free infant formula samples you received” and if formula was used “how was the brand fed chosen”? It sounded fishy, so I looked all over the letter and survey to find contact info. Nothing listed but a P.O. Box in Columbus Ohio, and a google business listings showed nothing in Columbus by that name either. So, I did a google search and found a few other websites and parents that had similar suspicions. Sure enough, The Research Institute of Mother and Child Care is a division of Abbott Labs, a pharmaceutical company, that makes Similac and Isomil (Infant Formulas).
This type of deceptive market research should be illegal, Absolutely illegal. First of all, It’s extremely deceptive. The title of the ‘Institute’, the way they frame what they are doing and even their logo, convey to me that I’m doing something important for the health and well being of children and mothers. My impression was that the institute was pro-breastfeeding or at the least an un-bias research group. Secondly, This survey is gathering extremely in-depth market research about mother’s and their choices for feeding their children. Though, the survey isn’t convincing them of anything, the information they gather from the survey will better prepare them to convince you to buy their formula. This survey also helps Abbott Labs gather detailed information about their competitors. The Bottom Line is that the end motivation for a company like Abbott Labs to put out a survey like this is to make money and figure out how to make more money. They aren’t looking out for the best interest of babies, they are looking to fatten their wallets.
I’m terribly bothered by this and the thought that millions of other new parents are receiving the same letter nation wide. So, I figure we need to do something about it. I decided to start a petition. I’m not sure this is the best way to get things started, but it ‘s something. I haven’t finished editing the Petition, but I gave a basic explanation of what it’s about. I’ll add a video later.