Baby formula in the mailbox. “Honey, is there something I should know?”

Yesterday a young friend of mine from South America, currently living in Boston, showed me a mysterious package she had received in the mail. She didn’t know what it was and didn’t know what to do with it, since she hadn’t ordered it. Apparently in her country valuable merchandise isn’t sent through the mail unsolicited (if at all)!

The package consisted of two large cans of baby formula powder: one Isomil and one Similac, both Abbott products. They were covered in shrink wrap –no plain brown envelope or anything like that– and there was a little blurb on the side reminding the recipient to ask for her free gift bag in the hospital.
When I told her what it was and said, “Someone thinks you’re pregnant,” she was more than a little embarrassed.

Then it occurred to me that this mailing must be part of an attempt to get around hospital and state bans on giving out baby formula in the hospital, which I’ve written about before. It’s a clever marketing ploy that I wouldn’t have thought of.
I went to the Abbott Nutrition website and sent an inquiry to the company explaining what happened and asking how my friend got on the list. I received a reply within a few hours stating that the mailing was part of the “Strong Moms” program and asking me to send my friend’s name so they could determine the source of the signup. (I’ve just replied so we’ll see what they come up with.)

One thing that surprised me was that when I sent the email inquiry I was required to divulge a lot of information including full name, address, phone number and email. I don’t understand why all of that is required. It seems like email address alone should be sufficient and the rest optional.

Meanwhile I’m planning to donate the products to a food pantry. I hope it won’t cause anyone to stop breastfeeding.

June 11, 2008

11 thoughts on “Baby formula in the mailbox. “Honey, is there something I should know?””

  1. This annoys me to no end. I’m pregnant, but don’t have a baby yet, and I get formula in the mail. Only other place I’ve signed up is the app What to Expect but I don;’t think they have my mailing info. I called my doctor’s office and they are not allowed to give out info. But something is fishy.

    I hate that they are allowed to market this crap which could deter people from breast milk.

  2. I received one of those samples today…addressed to my maiden name. I’ve been married for over 5-years. Nothing has been in my maiden name in probably 3 or 4 years now. I have no idea how they got my information or why they suddenly decided to send me something after having it for years, but I am not appreciative. I feel like it is a violation of my privacy.

  3. I received the same thing today. The package went to an address that I temporarily had my mail going to – my in-laws!!!! My in-laws hand delivered it. I was so embarrassed.

  4. Same thing was happening to me. I got two boxes within three days. Thankfully, as soon as I called the number ((800) 227-5767) they removed be from the shipping list.

  5. Yup, just got one today. Thankfully, I’m not alone as my first suspicion was that someone had stolen my identity and purchased these items. Anyways, will find a good home for the items. It’s funny though… I can’t give birth… it’s very difficult when you have a penis and no uterus…lol

  6. Not pregnant and recieved the strange heavy package with tracking from abbot nutrition and it has similac name all over package ??? this is annoying and with my maiden name too. How do we get them to stop sending me crap!

  7. Be Thankful and donate it if you dont need nor want the formula. Some people struggle to get formula because it doesn’t come by cheap at all. i am a member of the similac strong moms and i love recieving the free products they send me…
    if you dont want to receive anything call similac and let then know . dont be angry about it….. also, there is nothing wrong with formula, coming from a mother who cant produce enough milk for her baby so she has to formula feed.

  8. This happened to me this week and, I’m sorry to the anonymous poster who commented that she can’t produce enough milk and it is awesome that these products are helping them… but they sent this package to my parents house of all places (mind you my mother has been waiting ANXIOUSLY for me to have children) and the whole thing caused a big misunderstanding. So yes, we are allowed to be angry about a company sending unsolicited baby supplies to us because for many people it causes quite a stir that we did not ask for. And also yes, I donated the box to a gal at work who IS currently expecting.

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