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Infant Formula Marketing Campaign Materials

Get Involved: Resources for Activists

Stop Infant Formula Marketing in Healthcare Facilities

Following up with your area hospitals

View the webinar from June 26, 2012, outlining how to follow up with hospitals.

In April, Public Citizen sent a letter on behalf of more than 100 other organizations to 2600 hospitals across the country, calling on them to stop allowing the distribution of infant formula industry provided discharge bags to new moms. Now, we’re asking you to reach out to hospitals to ask for a response.

Help us make sure these important letters have an impact. Follow these simple guidelines to make an important contribution to our fight for mom’s and babies’ health.

Before you call

  1. Find the hospitals in your area.

  2. Check out the list of hospitals that we have sent letters to.  Select the hospitals in your area that you are able to call. However many you have time to contact is helpful. Only have time for one call? No problem. Got time for 10? Great!

  3. Prepare the materials you will need.

  4. When you call, you may wish to have the following materials on hand:

    1. A copy of the letter. Review the letter before you call.

    2. Talking points. Give these a brief review before you make your call. You may wish to review other resources on our website, too.

    3. Pen and paper to write down information for follow-up.

  5. Find the right contact person.

  6. Start by checking the hospital’s website. Search for the hospital’s directory or phone number list on the website. Possible offices to call include: administration, executive office, or CEO/president’s office. If you can’t find any numbers listed for these offices, call the main information number and ask for the administration office or the office of the CEO/president.

  7. Explain why you’re calling.

  8. Tell the person who you reach that you are calling to follow up on the letter sent in April. Here’s an example of what you might say:

    “I’m calling to follow up about a letter that was sent on behalf of over one hundred organizations to <>, asking your hospital to stop allowing distribution of industry provided infant formula samples to new moms. I am a member of the community who supports this initiative. Can you tell me what the hospital’s response to this request is or direct me to someone who can respond?”

Making your call

Response from hospital representative

Your response


“[CEO/President] receives hundreds of letters every week. I’m not sure what her/his response to this one it.”


“I don’t recall receiving the letter.”/ “We didn’t receive the letter.”

“I understand that [CEO/President] receives a lot of correspondence/may not have received the letter. I have a copy of the letter on hand. Is there someone I can email it to so that I can make sure he/she can read this important letter, which was written on behalf of hundreds of organizations with hundreds of thousands of members across the country?”

If given an email address, send the hospital the letter. You can download it from our website. Click on “download letter.” Attach the letter to your email. Copy on your email to the hospital.

“l will look into it and get back to you. Can I have your name and phone number?”

“Sure. My name is [name] and my phone number is [number]. Would it be helpful if I emailed you a copy of the letter? Can you give me an email address to send it to?”

If given an email address, send the hospital the letter. You can download it from our website. Click on “download letter.” Attach the letter to your email. Copy on your email to the hospital.

“We have already stopped giving out formula samples/marketing materials.”

“Congratulations. That’s great news. To add yourself to the list of hospitals that are “bag free,” please visit the Ban the Bags website.”

Be sure to let us know if you get this response so that we can remove the hospital from our list.

After your call

For all calls, ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and his or her email address and phone number.

Please send us an email or call us at 202-588-7746 to let us know how it went.

Thanks for helping to stop infant formula marketing in healthcare facilities.

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