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Mead pays millions for misleading infant formula adverts

07-Dec-2009

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s 83 percent holding, Mead Johnson, has been ordered to pay $13.5m in damages to smaller rival, PBM, after a US court found it guilty of misleading advertising for its infant formula, Enfamil.

The ads in question suggested Enfamil LIPIL was nutritionally superior to PBM’s products which tend to be sold as store brands for retailers such as Walmart, Sam's Club, Target, Kroger and Walgreens.

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia court ruling is one of the largest for a false advertising case.

“Despite Mead Johnson’s scare tactics, parents are assured that PBM’s formula products are as high quality and nutritious as Mead Johnson’s,” said PBM chief executive officer, Paul B. Manning.

It is the third time Mead Johnson has been sued by PBM for false advertising and it has admitted wrongdoing in each case.

The US infant formula market is estimated at $3.4 billion and the global market is estimated at $7.9 billion.

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