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"How maternity wards cash in on mothers"- damning report on Bounty in the Independent

(45 Posts)
MrsJamin Mon 22-Aug-11 14:41:56

Read article here

I received the Bounty pack after the birth of DS1, and definitely remember saying no to my email address being sold on, yet I received emails via Bounty for months afterwards, including one for a loans company particularly targeting mothers. Needless to say after the birth of DS2 I told them where they could go with their tiny pot of nasty chemical bottom cream and advertising bundle.

I'd love to see Bounty disappear but I fear the maternity wards rely on the income. I'd like to see better regulation though.

mousymouse Mon 22-Aug-11 14:50:49

the thing is, the cb form you also get when registering the birth, so there is no need for the bounty pack. I declined both times.

Graciescotland Mon 22-Aug-11 15:05:36

I remember the bounty lady she was really pushy and after she took DS picture in cot she left him in the centre of ward and stood between us as she tried to sell me photos. I felt really pressurised to just say yes so I could get my baby back! DH turned up then and told her to get lost, rather rudely.

I do think it's outrageous that they allow them into the wards. In normal circumstances I can stand up for myself but exhaustion, hormones do make you vulnerable.

Solopower Mon 22-Aug-11 21:20:06

I've just read the article and I think it's terrible that they allow strangers into wards like that.

If the hospitals rely on the money, they shouldn't! What will happen next - insurance salespeople in A&E? Estate agents selling retirement housing in Geriatrics??

BornSicky Mon 22-Aug-11 22:45:24

completely agree.

I get mail from them and their sponsors all the time, despite having said i didn't want it.

Their photographer was atrocious as well. I said no twice and she still came back every morning for several days to ask me again. I was sick, my baby was sick and i saw more of the damn bounty woman than any midwife.

Sad.

NormanTebbit Mon 22-Aug-11 22:51:41

The bag is shite. They could at least put some gin chocolate on it.

Picture was crap too.

MoaningMcMyrtlepants Mon 22-Aug-11 22:55:14

Thankfully our little mid wife led unit don't allow them in.

I was totally shocked at the low price they pay to get access though.

I have just bought 2 friends a MAMAPACK and they were fantastic. Stuffed with stuff and not a fizzy drink in sight.

Ryoko Tue 23-Aug-11 01:41:11

Meh, anything free is good, I had chocolate in my bounty pack and washing powder, cola etc, they have my email address makes no difference to me I have tonnes of spam anyway, they don't have my phone number as I never give it to anyone. I had an emergency C-section after spending 3 days shouting at them and getting ignored until I started bleeding, then got a apology and some excuses about them not realising how bad I was because I must have an extremely high pain threshold. I could hardly move, was numb for 3 days, drugged up and didn't sleep for 5 days, I had no trouble at all telling people where to stick their photo's, I was far more bothered by the fact the midwives did fuck all and my boy almost chocked to death one night on his on puke and no one came to help me, that and putting up with the cow in the bed next to me, who had a normal birth, who kept moaning about why was I getting Codeine and she wasn't.

You don't get anything for nothing and everyone sells your details on, so you might as well get a few free stuff out of it all.

MrsRhettButler Tue 23-Aug-11 02:21:13

I had marmite in mine grin it was great.

I've never given my phone number out though.

I'd also like to see someone coming to take my photo hours after I'd given birth, in fact I'd probably enjoy telling her where to go!

I don't think they do the photo thing in my local hospital, I know they o in the one across town though as my cousin had one done

pointythings Tue 23-Aug-11 20:59:00

No reps on the ward either time I had the DDs - we got the packs through our community midwives and they were useless - nappy samples the wrong size and we were using washables anyway, and they did seem very ken to push the formula.

PelvicFloorOfSteel Tue 23-Aug-11 21:10:48

I would love to know more about how the finances work out, £5000 seems ludicrously cheap for the exclusive access and veneer of respectability they have.

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 23-Aug-11 23:19:51

I've had two babies in hospital and never touched a Bounty Pack. With DC2 my midwife was delighted that I refused to have one. This thread makes me glad I rebuffed the crap they were offering.

Why do people give out their real contact details? It's easy enough to make up a fake email address, such as: speedy.gonzalez@keepyouruselesscraptoyourself.com. grin

limetrees Tue 23-Aug-11 23:28:16

I think it is because people are caught in a totally vulnerable state and very unexpectedly, Speedy.

I do think it is terrible to put photographers on post natal wards. It's so intrusive - mothers are in pain, bleeding, often struggling to feed, knackered out of their minds, away from home, away from DH/DP etc etc. I think the NHS should stop the photographers immediately. I wonder if there is anyone on MN at all who was pleased to get a Bounty photo.

wilkos Tue 23-Aug-11 23:28:23

I loathe Bounty. it makes me so angry that at one of the most vulnerable times in a womans life, when you may possibly be traumatised, scarred and in pain, she has to fend off hard core sales people that are SANCTIONED BY THE FECKING NHS!!!

Un fucking believable

They hover around you and your baby trying to sign you up to monthly payments and extra photos and key rings, its appalling.

and how come visiting hours don't apply to them? tell me that!

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 23-Aug-11 23:37:21

limetrees - I did wonder whether that might be the reason. Having avoided them like the plague I was never subjected to their hassling tactics, so I never had to think up a fake ID in the midst of postnatal fug.

wilkos Tue 23-Aug-11 23:37:22

and they often pretend that they are in some way allied to the medical staff, and coupled with the fact that they are ALWAYS bloody there, may give some women the impression that they have no choice but to agree to photos they neither need or want.

I was lucky, with DD I just missed the woman, with DS 2.5 years later I was older and wiser and told her politely to shove off.

Still had to listen to her fleecing the new parents in the next bed though...she was relentless.

...oh I am never going to get to sleep now....

Pamplemoussse Tue 23-Aug-11 23:43:10

ooh I have been googling bounty and freedom of information

£16,385 pa to this hospital

in fact lots have been asking

RueDeWakening Tue 23-Aug-11 23:44:35

The photo woman came round when I gave birth last year. She was really pushy, until I shouted at her that 1 baby was dead and the other was in intensive care. Then she ran away & didn't come back.

At least something good happened out of the whole thing.

Pamplemoussse Wed 24-Aug-11 00:04:16

reports in the press over the years on the same subject:

here

here

NCT objecting here

article in BMJ expressing concerns in 1984 !!

Pamplemoussse Wed 24-Aug-11 00:04:55

oh Rue I am so sorry for your loss sad

vj32 Sat 27-Aug-11 16:25:52

You can refuse them. If they are pushy, or you have to say no more than once - complain about them!!

Although I did find it funny that both the bounty woman and the photo woman tried to explain to a woman who didn't speak much English what they were trying to do.

CultureMix Sun 28-Aug-11 20:30:27

Completely agree it's outrageous the "Bounty lady" gets ward access -- and to get that invasion of privacy sanctioned for a mere £5000 is insane. There she turns up with her clipboard and her name tag and she looks like regular NHS staff (who all have different uniforms anyways so you can't tell). First question she asks is "what's the baby's name Mrs.X" where they know X as it's posted above the bed, then start going through their form asking for name, phone, address, email etc and the mothers haven't a clue this is just marketing crap.

In my case I hate giving out my email and getting junk mail and refused to give her any details -- she got very sniffy too, the cheery behaviour disappeared instantly. When I said no thanks I didn't want the pack she insisted I must sign up for it as it had the Child Benefit forms in it - ha! those are free and you can do it online too.

In the end she still thrust the Bounty pack at me and stomped off - good in that I wanted the mini-Sudocreme pot, that's about the one useful item in there.

And yes there was also an onsite photographer (with their own office in the hospital premises shock) but there it was clear this was a commercial offering and they didn't seem to stalk the postpartum mothers too much, more of a case of 'oh wouldn't it be nice to leave the hospital with a lovely portrait?' - actually no that's why I have my digital camera with me and have already taken dozens of pictures since the birth.

jellybeans208 Thu 01-Sep-11 17:53:59

I didnt get the photos she could of tied me up and held me at gunpoint I wasnt paying a fiver for a photo my husband could take for free. I hardly saw anyone buying them, but we are cheapskates in my area.

I took the free pack though as it was free but never had any emails of them as I was aware of.

kelly2000 Thu 01-Sep-11 18:17:09

Correct me if I am wrong, but in England do photographers not also have the rights to the photograph, so they can sell them to whoever they want? I know that legally they cannot take pictures of children for commercial (i.e with the intention of selling it even to te parents) use without getting express permission from the parents first, so if they ignore that make a formal complaint about the company to trading standards or something.
I also do not understand why they are allowed on the wards freely especially considering we are supposed to be washing our hands all the time watching for MRSA etc.
I suppose the best thing is to say no, and if they get pushy tell them loudly to leave right away or you will complain about them and their company. or you could breath all over them then tell them you have a contagious disease.

TheMitfordsMaid Thu 01-Sep-11 18:23:40

Thanks to previous threads on this, I was well prepared for the Bounty photographer and told her firmly to go away and leave me alone. The other mothers looked a bit taken aback at first but we all stood firm together and sent Bounty woman on her way.

So sorry for your loss, Rue.

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