Comedians urged to boycott Perrier Awards for Comedy

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Related tags: Infant, Milk

Comedians are being urged to boycott the Perrier Awards for Comedy because its sponsor is linked to Nestlé.The Swiss company, which owns the bottled...

Comedians are being urged to boycott the Perrier Awards for Comedy because its sponsor is linked to Nestlé.

The Swiss company, which owns the bottled water brand, has been criticised for giving free powdered baby milk to mothers in developing countries in violation of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Baby Milk Action, the UK arm of the International Baby Food Action Network, has asked comedians at the Fringe not to enter the Perrier-sponsored competition in protest at Nestlé's sales of powdered milk in the Third World, which it claims discourages breast feeding.

Comedian Rob Newman, a member of the Baby Milk Action campaign group, admitted that until recently he had been unaware of the connection between Perrier and Nestlé but urged both comedians and visitors to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this month to shun the awards.

Although Perrier refused to comment, a spokesperson for Nestlé said: "We are concerned at the message being given out to comedians.

"Nestlé markets its infant formula product responsibly, in line with the WHO's code of marketing. Many of the allegations made about our behaviour in the developing world are years out of date and have long since been rectified.

"Our labels state that breastfeeding is best for babies in the relevant local languages, and indeed we are one of the world's largest distributors of educational material supporting exclusive breastfeeding."

The annual Perrier Comedy Awards is regarded as a springboard into stardom for upcoming comedians and previous winners include Lee Evans, Jack Dee, Steve Coogan and Al Murray - the "pub landlord".

Related topics: Soft & Hot Drinks

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