Baby formula companies are using invasive marketing to target new mothers.
That's according to UNICEF, which says more than half of parents and pregnant women surveyed for a new report say they have experienced such practices.
The report draws on interviews with parents, pregnant women and health workers in eight countries.
The research was conducted over two years in countries which represent different socio-economic groups.
UNICEF says it uncovers "systematic and unethical marketing strategies" used by the formula milk industry - worth almost €50bn - to influence parents' infant feeding decisions.
The report finds that industry marketing techniques include unregulated and invasive online targeting, sponsored advice networks and helplines, and practices to influence training and recommendations among health workers.
Grainne Moloney is UNICEF's senior nutrition advisor. She told The Hard Shoulder this is not about being anti-formula.
"It's not the breast-feeding versus the formula debate.
"It's about how do we make sure that parents have access to evidence-based and impartial information on the best choice on how to feed their children.
"What we found really is that the pervasive and predatory tactics that the formula milk industry undertake to really target women very early on.
"So as soon as you announce that you might be pregnant, and you go on these different social media platforms to get some information about your pregnancy, they're already using those platforms to reach out to mothers".
'Reaching out for help'
She says contact made through helplines, baby clubs or phone apps can be misleading.
"You're being directed to these sites, but you don't actually know that behind that site is a sponsor - who's actually jeopardising access to impartial information.
"Some of the messages, for example, that are coming out are things like that formula is necessary in the first few days after birth - which of course is not true - that breast milk is inadequate for infant formula, that specific infant formula ingredients are proven to improve child development or immunity, that formula keeps infants fuller for longer so they'll sleep for longer.
"All of these claims are scientifically dubious or unsubstantiated".
And she says the targeting can be when people are most vulnerable.
"You can imagine if you're a new mum and you're exhausted, and it's two or three weeks in with your newborn, and your baby's crying and not sleeping - you're reaching out for help.
"And then suddenly these chatlines are saying 'Have you tried this formula?'
"You're very vulnerable, and it's those kind of tactics that this report is highlighting.
"And they're the kind of tactics that governments need to legislate against".
The report surveyed 8,500 parents and pregnant women - and 300 health workers - in cities across Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.