V8 Supercars driver Ash Walsh and Infants' Friend have joined forces in a sponsorship deal.
V8 Supercars driver Ash Walsh and Infants' Friend have joined forces in a sponsorship deal. Contributed

Infants' Friend and V8 partnership is just super

IF YOU have children there is a strong possibility that you know and love Infants' Friend.

Many people may not know that this lifesaver for baby and you was developed and founded in Ipswich. Recently it has come out of the shadows and become very public, teaming up with V8 Supercar driver, and Ipswich man Ash Walsh.

The partnership is not so odd as it is introducing this much-loved formula to a whole new audience. "Infants' Friend Oral Liquid is Australia's leading colic and wind medicine for infants. It is distributed Australia-wide. Infants' Friend has been a household name for more than 80 years and has been used with great success," managing director Neil McPhillips said.

The formula was developed by J C Minnis, a local pharmacist.

He developed it in the 1930s in Ipswich after coming to the city from Blackall. According to the historical records, J C Minnis treated many of his 'patients', mostly infants, who suffered from colic and wind complaints, diarrhoea, boils, colds and flu.

"Mr Minnis decided to mix his own remedies for these common complaints such as diarrhoea mixture, Indian cerate drawing ointment for boils, Red Acid Cure for coughs and many others.

"By far the most sought-after and popular remedy was Infants' Friend Oral Liquid; JC Minnis's cure for infants with colic and wind. Infants' Friend went on to be sold through Minnis Pharmacy in downtown Ipswich until about 1950," Mr McPhillips said.

Infants' Friend has been passed on from mother to daughter and has grown from being somewhat exclusive to Ipswich to becoming popular across Australia. According to the company management, part of the expansion of Infants' Friend initially came about when a travelling salesman, fresh from a rough night with a restless baby himself, passionately took the product around Queensland and had it stocked in many pharmacies.

"Geoff Price, a humble and loyal pharmacy assistant would be trusted with the formula of one of Queensland's most iconic brands." It was a friendship between Price and McPhillips that ensured the safe handover of a product that is Ipswich through and through.

Neil McPhillips was well known in Ipswich through his role in Ipswich City Council's economic development.

During his tenure he was actively involved in leading change in the city with the then burgeoning IT industry. "We were the first in Australia to provide community-based internet, it was a wonderful achievement for Ipswich at the time."

He moved to the world of Infants' Friend and was introduced to a new and exciting challenge. "Infants' Friend Oral Liquid is a medicine registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Australian regulatory body, and is available from chemists throughout Australia, or online," he said.

With 80 years under its belt, the product, now joined by Comfy Baby Cream, used for nappy rash, continues to be very popular but there is a wider audience who has come to know this product through the unlikely, but successful teaming up with Infants' Friend, Comfy Baby Cream and V8 Supercars.

"Infants' Friend Comfy Baby Cream with Aloe Vera is a recently released nappy rash cream that has quickly been taken up by nursing parents as another natural, Australian made product that carries the Infants Friend quality brand; pleasant for babies and a blessing for parents."

"Supporting home-grown V8 racing up-and-comer Ash Walsh and Infants' Friend is a great partnership. The problem is we are supporting a Ford racing team when I am a passionate Holden racing enthusiast. It is worth it to bring together two of Ipswich's best," Mr McPhillips said.

The company supported Walsh with minor sponsorship during 2012, but following the success of the partnership they have made the move to become major sponsor.

"The car advertises Ipswich City and of course the Infants' Friend brand. We had little promotion prior to this, but it has introduced us to a whole new market, we are sold on this partnership."

Ash Walsh took part in the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, the same event that saw Casey Stoner move from two wheels to four. Ash Walsh won his first race and came third in the second race and is currently second in the championship.

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