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Campaign to end Bounty sales reps' access to maternity wards - please read and share

(867 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Jun-13 22:16:27

Evening all,

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to fill in our survey on Bounty and share your stories - from the initial idea onwards, this really is a campaign that has been prompted by your concerns, as posted on Mumsnet.

The survey showed that a very large majority (82%) felt it was unacceptable for Bounty sales reps to be on hospital wards, as well as highlighting a number of other concerns about Bounty reps' selling practices, so we're calling on government to end this kind of direct selling/data collecting on NHS wards. See more here.

It's clear, from the survey results, that, even after Bounty updated its code of conduct (these results only include users who gave birth from May 2012 - the full results containing prior data are here) its practices leave a lot to be desired, and that Mumsnet users feel very strongly that the maternity ward is no place for a hard sell, so we're really hoping that government will listen to us.

Here's how you can help...

Please sign the petition

If you're on Twitter please tweet your support for the campaign with the hashtag #bountymutiny and the following link:

If you're on Facebook then please like campaign page our campaign page (there's a FB link to click at the top on the left).

If you're on Google+, well, you'll know what to do.

We'll, of course, keep you posted here about the campaign and any developments. Thanks to everyone for their stories, honesty and input. Here's hoping we can make a difference!

wickeddevil Tue 11-Jun-13 22:34:26

Thanks Justine
Really pleased to see this - and will be supporting the campaign

choppychopster Tue 11-Jun-13 22:35:41

Excellent. Will share on FB now.

StateofConfusion Wed 12-Jun-13 00:11:34

really pleased to see this it was mners who supported me when a rep really upset me when dc3 was born end of 2012, nearly 6months later her behaviour is still ruining my memory of dd2 arrival.

StateofConfusion Wed 12-Jun-13 00:14:23

what's the fb page called the link isn't working for me.

Raaraathenoisybaby Wed 12-Jun-13 00:16:36

Can't do the twitter link....

AtYourCervix Wed 12-Jun-13 04:01:36

How much trouble am i going to be in when i print off all of that and put it in strategic places at work? and when has that ever stopped me?

courgetteDOTcom Wed 12-Jun-13 05:34:31

I've just written an article about this for the magazine I edit. glad to see MNHQ on this!

I've also had a debate with the other editors that MN has everything Bounty does and is more ethical. the rest (ctb forms and photography) are not unique this bounty!

AtYourCervix Wed 12-Jun-13 05:45:08

The problem is the £2.3 million. The NHS is not going to want to lose that.

MadonnaKebab Wed 12-Jun-13 05:56:18

2.3 million sounds a lot, but compared to the NHS budget of over a hundred billion it really is quite insignificant, and not worth compromising patient privacy over

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Wed 12-Jun-13 06:32:50

The fact is if it was handled better it could continue. There is no reason for new mums to be harassed in their beds hours after giving birth. They could have daily sessions in the day room for those who want to take part to go along and join.

But just as big a problem is the attitude of the reps. I've heard positive stories (well one) of a mum of twins where the rep came in everyday and gave her two bags and my own of not believing I didn't have an email address to give.

AmandinePoulain Wed 12-Jun-13 07:49:06

I may be the lone voice here but my experience of the Bounty rep was actually positive - she approached me firstly in antenatal clinic, and then on the postnatal ward. She asked if I wanted a pack, I initially said no because I didn't want to give my details (after being bombarded with useless stuff after dd1 was born), and she said that I didn't have to and just handed me a pack each time. I threw away all the bumf and kept the freebies wink grin.

I wasn't offered Bounty photographs, a local studio came round the postnatal ward offering those, but they were offering vouchers to use at a later date in their studio, not offering to take photos on the ward which is a better approach I think.

Theselittlelightsofmine Wed 12-Jun-13 07:52:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tee2072 Wed 12-Jun-13 08:01:57

The Facebook page link doesn't go to FB, it goes to MN page.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 08:11:50


The Facebook page link doesn't go to FB, it goes to MN page.

Yes blush: we'll sort in just a tick. Thanks!

Vicslamb81 Wed 12-Jun-13 08:26:20

I'm so pleased you're doing this mumsnet! The bounty rep I encountered was intrusive and patronising. I'd had an emergency c-section and was desperately focused on getting my baby to latch on to breastfeed. When I told her we weren't interested in photos she gave me a really filthy look and flounced off! Get rid of these reps from maternity wards - marketing tactics at their worst.

DeepRedBetty Wed 12-Jun-13 08:45:44

Oops... dtd1 has just Liked the FB page. Her own silly fault for leaving herself logged in last night!

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 08:54:22

Right, liked, petition signed, petition and MN links shared with my friends, my BFPS group, another BF group I'm part of, and a few other parenting groups!
Now what...? <dons thinking cap> grin

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 08:59:58

Very pleased to see this campaign. Thank you MN!

Christineawalker Wed 12-Jun-13 09:09:39

thank you-at last the practice of taking personal details from new and still fragile, mothers the day after giving birth-is under the spotlight!!
This happened to me over 20 years ago after giving birth to my 2nd.child in homerton hospital hackney.a woman came round giving free samples,I declined, saying that I knew it would only lead to masses of junk mail advertising baby products, as that had happened after my first child.she expressed total amazement saying I was the first person she had ever come across to refuse free goods! as I lay there exhausted she then managed to give me the free goods AND get my name and address off me! I had a year of junk mail. I have always been upset about this and I sincerely hope that your campaigne to stop this practice is successful. It is intrusive and immoral.

Vickirose Wed 12-Jun-13 09:21:02

When I refused to let them take my daughter's photograph the woman was completely shocked - I don't think anyone had ever said no to her before.
She was very pushy and rude and eventually, just because I was completely exhausted following my C-section and just wanted her to go away, I agreed to fill in her form - but I would not have normally done so and I afterwards I felt like I'd been bullied into it.
The maternity ward is not the place for the hard sell, a woman who has just given birth is extremely vulnerable and Bounty are exploiting that. I strongly agree with this campaign.

TwitchyTail Wed 12-Jun-13 09:25:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

courgetteDOTcom Wed 12-Jun-13 09:33:03

even if they're nice about it, it's STILL wrong!

would you think it was ok that they were nice about out if your grandparent was having a broken hip fixed and a rep came in out of visiting hours whilst they weren't decent and offered them a bag full of things from equity release ads to samples of Horlicks?

willyoulistentome Wed 12-Jun-13 09:39:25

I totally agree with this campaign.

I had never heard of Bounty - not havng been a Mum before. After my first birth I was shocked, in pain, tearful, traumatised, and frankly all over the fucking place. I was in no position to deal with a sales person. I didn;t fully grasp that that was what they were. I had the impression that they were somehow somebody 'official' - like the nurse coming to check the baby's hearing,and all the other medical types that pass through. I was made to feel I would be letting a precious chance of a photograph of my baby slip thorugh my fingers, as they change so quickly, even hourly at this stage.

It's just WRONG.

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 12-Jun-13 09:42:05

Looking at the situation afresh, if you were going to create the best possible place for a new mother and baby to be would it include random visits from a stranger collecting personal details for commercial profit and giving out a very paltry bag of free samples of baby products, leaflets and vouchers ?
No, it wouldn't !
Most of the time visits from Bounty are a mild irritation and slight disappointment (you look at your free gift and discover there's little useful in it) You feel slightly patronised whilst reading Emma's diary but possibly have little else to read.
Occasionally Bounty really mess up and ask a mother where her baby is when baby is in SCBU, and other similar cases of insensitivity.
Hospitals agree to this for the sake of a few quid per patient because they are so incredibly stretched for resources they can't afford to give the new mother one nappy for her newborn themselves !
Madness !
Just one small part of the failure to put women's needs first during the birth and post-natal period, and indicative of the dire state of resources in post-natal care.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 09:42:47

Mine was nice, but its not about the hard sell. As I said on the other thread (in the news) random people should not be on a ward. Other mothers relatives made me feel uncomfortable enough when my fanjo was bleeding ridiculous amounts and I couldnt walk!

danieljowen Wed 12-Jun-13 09:47:17

I'm so pleased Mumsnet is campaigning on this. I remember when my son was born four years ago being appalled that Bounty reps were given access to maternity wards - a place where new mums need to feel absolutely safe and relaxed. I was even more horrified when my wife was handed her first Bounty pack by an NHS midwife (presumably no Bounty reps were available) - the hospital flatly denied their staff ever did this when I complained about it. I really hope this campaign succeeds.

YoniMatopoeia Wed 12-Jun-13 09:47:55

Great that this is a campaign. I am past having any more children (I hope!), but the fact that women, at a very vulnerable point, can be targeted by unsupervised commercial staff is completely unacceptable.

And how sad that the hospitals feel they need the money to allow this to continue

buswanker Wed 12-Jun-13 09:50:16

I have shared this on Facebook.
It's great mumsnet have done something to support women when they are vulnerable.
Thanks mumsnet yet another reason to love this site!

willyoulistentome Wed 12-Jun-13 09:54:45

Also Bounty are saying they have had few complaints.

Well I didn't complain, as it was not on the top of my priority list - what with having just given birth and all. But I still resented it, once I realised what it actually was.

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 12-Jun-13 09:59:47

Yes, of course that's why they've had relatively few complaints willyou - because a new mother will have a few other things higher up on her priority list !

Also with all the confusion around roles and responsibilities any complaints are quite likely to be directed to the hospital ?

In spite of being so keen to collect our details I'm not sure Bounty are so quick to give us theirs in case of any complaint !

EuroShaggleton Wed 12-Jun-13 10:09:52

Great campaign. No other group of PATIENTS (because that is what women are when they are on the post-natal ward) are subjected to bedside marketing. Can you imagine the outcry if e.g. benecol went round cardiac wards approaching people just out of surgery who are still a bit groggy and upset? And yet somehow this has been allowed to happen to women who have given birth (some of those births involving surgery).

Tailtwister Wed 12-Jun-13 10:26:36

I'm very pleased about this campaign. It's shocking to me that any kind of sales person in allowed access to women at such a personal and often fragile time. The Bounty reps are dressed in a very similar way to the nurses, they pull back curtains when women have them closed (often for examinations or breastfeeding confidence), pick up babies without permission and coerce mothers into thinking they need to hand over their personal details. Women need to be protected after giving birth, not harassed.

MalcolmTuckersMum Wed 12-Jun-13 10:29:33

That is an excellent point Euro. How about Mobility aid manufacturers doing the rounds of the orthopaedic wards? Would that be ok? This is absolutely outrageous and thankfully wasn't around when I gave birth but I have no doubt I'd have been hmm and confused as I'd had a terrible first labour and was in complete shock.

ActionLog Wed 12-Jun-13 10:50:08

Bounty is an appalling scheme and needs removal.

On this:

"Occasionally Bounty really mess up and ask a mother where her baby is when baby is in SCBU"

Well occasionally they ask where the baby is when the baby has died. How upsetting do you think that is?

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 12-Jun-13 11:11:41

I'm sorry Action - that's so sad sad

MummyOfSunbeam Wed 12-Jun-13 11:16:50

Action - that is heartbreaking. sad

I am so so glad mumsnet is taking this up. My rep was ok, but it is still OUTRAGEOUS that the NHS is selling Bounty access to women at such a vulnerable time.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 11:25:01

I had a bounty rep come to me when I just had DD3. we also had my other two children and my mum there. I also had the midwife asking me a lot of questions , the bounty rep butted in asking me my name,address,email and all this rubbish. she then said she would like to take some family snap hmmI said I don't want to be in them ive just given birth im still in a dirty nightdress no thanks , she wouldn't give up she said "go to the bathroom and change and put some make up on shock I said I only have what I came in with last night etc anyway she got her own way cause DP loves a photo but all in all she was there forever and I was still in a mess and so tired ! I really want these banned or at least have the midwife ask if you RE INTERESTED first before they come barging through the curtains !

Wowserz129 Wed 12-Jun-13 11:38:30

Really hope this campaign takes off! Well done Mumsnet smile

merrymouse Wed 12-Jun-13 11:55:34

I think the impression they give - that if you buy the right stuff you can be a better parent - is very dodgy. I can't think of a single offer in the pack that didn't involve spending completely unnecessary money. Even if you are the kind of person who likes a bargain, none of the products they were promoting were useful in anyway.

dipeploe Wed 12-Jun-13 11:57:28

Do they still hand out socket covers?

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 12:04:33

No, not in the last two packs I've had

I dont think they should even be there if the midwife asks first. Firstly, its giving the midwives more to do, and secondly, theres still a stranger on the ward even if you say no, they'll be there for the people who do say yes. And the packs shouldnt be given to the midwives to give out, cause then they are seen to endorse the companies that advertise in them.

turbochildren Wed 12-Jun-13 12:06:22

I support this. When going to give birth I had no idea this was a company. Along with many others I assumed they were hospital staff. The constant stream of necessary people is enough, you really don't need the bounty rep too. My memory is hazy, but luckily I only had to deal with one insistent lady when my 2nd was born, not with the other two. She was horrified I did not want to pay £10 (or whatever ridiculous sum) for a picture taken by her with a supercrap camera. Otherwise polite, but just the fact you have no idea who they are and they pester you for information, whilst you're on morphine and have a newborn is not on.
You know, I'd pay the hospital £5 if this is what they make off bounty, just to put an end to it.

GoingGoingGoth Wed 12-Jun-13 12:10:08

Brilliant, the reps area bloody nuisance, signed petition and shared on FB

noo1985 Wed 12-Jun-13 12:13:25

I think I may be one of the only people who had a positive experience and treasure the photographs that were taken of my DD she looks absolutely beautiful and I never felt pressurised into doing anything. I agree the packs are basically full of crap but I was disappointed that I never got to have the photograph with my DS as we got out to quickly afterwards. I personally don't agree with the hate campaign really I appreciate clearly some representatives clearly seem to be rude but I didn't experience it and I feel that some mothers can be just as rude back to the representatives. At the end of the day if you don't want to have the photo or the pack then just say no, they are only doing ajob and they get abuse back as well! Don't hate me for my opinions I understand people have had bad experiences but I also think those who have ad good experiences need to be heard to!

Jergens Wed 12-Jun-13 12:14:27

Good on MN for starting thus campaign! I missed the Bounty rep with DC2 as I was discharged same day. Glad to miss the hard sell and free samples but annoyed to find out later on that the pack included my form for universal child allowance (not sure if that's what it's called).

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 12-Jun-13 12:28:03

I am at a loss as to what exactly the samples are. Sil said you get a fab pack when you go on the labour ward. well I arrived at 2 am and ds1 was born by ventouse in a room full of a stand-by crash team at 5.50 am and I didn't get the labour room pack ha ha.

But with ds2 I did. And it was crap. Same as the antenatal pack. Tons of leaflets, one nappy, a couple of wipes, and a sachet of formula for over 6m. That was IT.

I felt that they were so used to having the run of the wards and getting access to mums that they didn't even have to put any effort into what went into the packs. In fact I would go so far as to say the 'selection' of freebies is insulting, if its meant as the incentive for us to sign up.

So its not as if they are giving out any incentives. If I hear I am getting a goodie pack then I want GOODIES!!! Not leaflets and vouchers for money off very expensive products (Venture photos I am looking at you).

Oh and the Red Book thingy you get when you leave hosp could easily include the Child Benefit form.

cjbk1 Wed 12-Jun-13 12:38:41

I'm not going to pop back as I'll get flamed but I just want to say my experiences with bounty were fine and I loved the opportunity to have professional newborn

I am sad to hear of unsubscription problems esp. after sad losses

I don't work for bounty

Splinters Wed 12-Jun-13 12:42:02

I don't agree with direct marketing in to patients in hospitals, especially not to new mothers recovering from the birth and dealing with a new baby! I don't think Bounty should be allowed to do it.

HOWEVER, I also feel I need to say that the Bounty rep at the JR in Oxford behaved very well when I gave birth in February. I had coached DH extensively on the evil of Bounty and how to avoid them, but she knocked, asked if it was a convenient time, and explained why she was there. I said that I didn't want a pack because I didn't want to give my details. She said that was fine, I didn't have to, gave me a pack anyway, just noted my room number on her chart and left. The pack was pretty rubbishy, but the rep was actually fine.

Splinters Wed 12-Jun-13 12:42:54

(Nothing about photos either)

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 12:43:36

But surely noo any number of positive experiences still shouldnt mean that people are subject to another person wandering around the ward?

My DH is a lovely guy and the father of the babies I was in having, yet I still wouldnt suggest he should be there all day just because I want him there, because it would make the other women on the ward uncomfortable. How is this different for someone who isnt even there for the baby, but is there to sell?

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 12:47:02

I wouldn't want "goodies" either. It would most likely be stuff I didn't want, like scented baby wipes or perfumed bubble bath.

10storeylovesong Wed 12-Jun-13 13:05:25

The bounty lady came bursting into the private room that I was in as my baby was seriously ill in SCBU, asked where my baby was, watched me cry as I explained then waltzed out saying "well, you won't need this then, will you?".

Absolutely disgraceful. Petition signed.

FuckThisShit Wed 12-Jun-13 13:07:13

I'm staggered that this is still going on. When I had my first almost 20 years ago the bag was simply left by our beds.

When I had my second a year later the Bounty rep asked for me details and after a couple of minutes of my saying a firm no thank you, I was 'rescued' by my consultant and I went home a couple of hours later.

Number three was an emergency section at 28 weeks, my life was very much in the balance for a week, along with my tiny baby. When I was out of ICU, along she came bossy and rude for over half an hour. I think she finally got the message when I yelled 'will you just fuck off and leave me alone'. I've never heard such silence on a maternity ward. It was awesome, and the added bonus was that she didn't come back for the next few days.

None of that grief for me when I had number four, as that was abroad, where they automatically take newborn pics and give you a huge bag of thoroughly handy stuff including pamper stuff for post section delicate old me. For free.

DoughaDeer Wed 12-Jun-13 13:13:40

I'm also amazed it's still going on. Seven years ago my baby was also in SCBU - I couldn't move after an emergency c-section and the lady burst in and was so incredibly rude. Also told me that I 'wouldn't be needing a picture' and then (while I was still high as a kite on morphine) told me I HAD to give her my details - phone & address - as it was a government requirement angry I didn't know any better and signed. For the next six months we were bombarded with calls from baby-goods-related people and the crap that came through the door was ridiculous.

I told her where to get off 18 months later when baby #2 arrived. I'm disgusted that they get this type of unfettered access in a hospital just so they can basically flog you stuff and create a mailing list angry

RubberBullets Wed 12-Jun-13 13:15:47

There are no Bounty reps in hospital where I live, the packs are given to you by the midwives. I am still not happy with my experience of Bounty though, as I made sure that I said no to passing my details on and yet they completely ignored that and did it anyway. I contacted the various companies that have sent me junk mail and they all confirmed that they got my details from Bounty.

If I go on to have DC2 then there is no way that Bounty are going to find out I'm pregnant

MNBlackpoolandFylde Wed 12-Jun-13 13:16:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jojobump1986 Wed 12-Jun-13 13:16:12

Totally agree that they shouldn't be on the wards but... They're not all completely evil! I had DS2 3 days ago he's so cute! & when the Bounty lady came round I reluctantly agreed because I was a bit distracted with getting ready to go home & couldn't be bothered to argue. She immediately reassured me that I didn't have to have it, I said I'd rather not & she happily toddled off to the next bed - I was stunned by how painless the whole thing was! smile

But no, she shouldn't have been there, even if she was really nice!

Worcestercat Wed 12-Jun-13 13:16:53

I agree with Lovebeingupat4inthemorning. It could be better managed and the option to visit the Bounty people in the hospital.
Personally, I have the most stunning picture of my youngest child at less than 24 hours old and it reminds me of how simply beautiful she was when she was born. I wouldn't have had the energy, time or skill to take the photo myself.
I do agree that the Bounty people visiting you were very 'nonchalant' about the fact I had just given birth and I did feel like any old Tom-Dick or Harry but then they aren't the only people on a maternity ward who are like that towards you............

BlingLoving Wed 12-Jun-13 13:20:22

I think the campaign is good, although I don't feel passionately about it, but... pedantically, on the letter to David Cameron, couldn't we have addressed him as Dear Mr Cameron or even Dear Prime Minister?

I am terribly old fashioned, I know, but I think a more formal approach to the man elected (sort of) to lead our country is perfectly appropriate. <old lady with knickers in twist>

HorryIsUpduffed Wed 12-Jun-13 13:23:47


Even if every rep followed best practice and didn't hassle patients, they still shouldn't be given the access they have. It happens on no other ward, and for good reason.

lijojo Wed 12-Jun-13 13:25:06

I have to disagree at all of the experiences above I am the mother of 4 and always found on each of the 4 occasions after giving birth the Bounty Reps to be polite, and if you say no, they withdraw politely with a smile and do not give you the hard sell. The Emma's Diary to first time mums on the ward was invaluable and for some mother's who are on a very low income, the samples were a godsend to them.

I actually found the absolute bullying by the midwives in the hospital on each occasion to breastfeed my babies on each occasion much more stressful than a rep coming around to ask to take a photo and ask if you wanted samples.

ilovesprouts Wed 12-Jun-13 13:47:18

ooh just seen justine on th news

rhythmdivine100 Wed 12-Jun-13 13:52:54

Read the article on BBC News and have joined Mumsnet to support this. I'm still expecting this so have never been on a maternity ward but couldn't quite believe what I was reading - does this actually happen???

I tell you what, ANY sales rep who approaches me straight after giving birth is likely to get a smack in the nose. Honestly, can you imagine this being accepted by men if they were in a similar situation, and with such aggression by the sounds of it? Testicular cancer ward anyone? I think I have a good idea what sort of response they would get. Women, don't stand for such crap!

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 12-Jun-13 13:54:32

Can we get it put it on the birth plan page.

You know 'Who will cut the cord?', Physiological 3rd stage or managed? Allow visit by Bounty rep?

Because when I gave birth the first time I was totally unprepared for the Bounty rep. No literature had been given regarding it and I was totally exploited and felt violated. Far worse than a vaginal examination which you have to give consent to.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 13:59:42


Read the article on BBC News and have joined Mumsnet to support this. I'm still expecting this so have never been on a maternity ward but couldn't quite believe what I was reading - does this actually happen???

I tell you what, ANY sales rep who approaches me straight after giving birth is likely to get a smack in the nose. Honestly, can you imagine this being accepted by men if they were in a similar situation, and with such aggression by the sounds of it? Testicular cancer ward anyone? I think I have a good idea what sort of response they would get. Women, don't stand for such crap!

Welcome to Mumsnet, rhythmdivine100!

Mumof4granof1 Wed 12-Jun-13 14:09:23

I have joined mumsnet specifically to add my comments on this topic. Really grow up and start campaigning about something really important and not this preposterous hot air about nothing. I am a professional woman in my fifties with 4 children in their 20s. I was thrilled with my bounty bags. I became a bounty lady after my third child and spent a very happy year meeting lovely mums and babies and having a chat on my rounds. I was not on any commission. Mums with problems were off limits and the nurses always told me which ladies I could not visit.
In the face of so many genuine problems faced by young families today you should be ashamed of yourselves for creating a fuss about nothing and risking mumsnet's credibility in the national media. Bounty bags are not a worthy campaign.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 12-Jun-13 14:12:10

I would love to be a bounty lady and get to visit loads of brand new babies, but I would always feel like an unethical and immoral intruder.......

Runkydunky Wed 12-Jun-13 14:14:52

Nothings changed then in 14 years!

The day after having my daughter we were (incorrectly, but thats another story!)told she had a congenital heart defect the same as me.
Obviously being told your perfect baby has something wrong is scary and upsetting.
Later that morning we had a visit from a rep who insisted that we need to have our daughters photograph taken for security (I don't know anyone who would refuse this request) and then proceeded to explain the costs for framed picture sets, keyrings etc!
What we weren't prepared for was the closing line of 'these will be treasured memories God forbid anything should happen to her'

I just burst into tears and my husband literally frog marched her out of the door.
We complained to a midwife, who forwarded the complaint to the Head of Midwifery at Liverpool Womens, we never heard a thing! Had I had more time after that I would have taken it further but new know how it is wink

phantomhairpuller Wed 12-Jun-13 14:17:18

Mumof4granof1, that's your experience. You only have to look at the negative experiences that are pouring in to see that you are in the minority.

I personally didn't have a problem with the bounty rep after either of my DCs were born but I can see why people might have. You're in hospital following one of the most exhausting experiences you'll ever go thru, you're feeling tired, emotional, vulnerable and overwhelmed and some stranger comes round and starts bombarding you with personal questions. I can see how people might have a problem with this.

Thanks for you're opinion but I wouldn't waste your time on MN any more if I were you confused

Songbird Wed 12-Jun-13 14:24:38

runkydunky Yes I was told a photo was needed for security too. Ridiculous now I think about it.

Mumof4 How lovely. Now perhaps read what people are saying about the reps they've had and next time don't belittle people's feelings on this issue. Congratulations on such a sensitive first post on MN!

YoniMatopoeia Wed 12-Jun-13 14:26:41

Mumof4 - the fact that there are other issues that could be campaigned about does not mean that this is not an issue.

The plain fact is that vulnerable PATIENTS should not be at the mercy of sales reps.

Have you read some of the stories on this thread?

Oh and Justine well done on your appearance on ITV news.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 14:28:40

Mumof4, i have no issue with bounty bags, nowerdays its a load of leaflets advertising tat (apparently they did used to be better), but I'm a big girl, I can cope with seeing a bit of advertising without the urge to buy everything I see.

But I am not happy with a sales rep being allowed to go bed to bed on a postnatal ward when my husband and family had to stay out. And (I dont think I've actually mentioned this on MN yet in my 100 posts about this today!) when my local hospital is currently not letting in the breastfeeding helpers, who could actually be very useful!

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 14:30:07

I'm rereading stateofconfusions original thread btw, and getting even more irate...

FryOneFatManic Wed 12-Jun-13 14:34:54

I didn't know better when I had DD, I do remember the rep coming after she was born and I was still stuck in bed from CS. I am sure she implied the CB form was only available in the pack.

With DS I was more informed (it was still 9 years ago), and I got hold of a CB form and had it partly filled in in my hospital bag. When the rep came round it was clear she was really cross I'd effectively spiked her guns by having the form. Having heard her talking to other women on the ward the CB form was clearly the main point she pushed on to get them to sign up. I didn't bother being quiet when I explained the forms are easily available elsewhere........

No photos with this rep. Seems to be a local thing where they pass your details to a local photographer. After DD's birth, my name had been passed to a photographer who turned out to be SIL's ex grin. I do not use DP's (distinctive) surname so there's no way he could have guessed. Didn't bother using him.

FryOneFatManic Wed 12-Jun-13 14:37:08

PS I have liked on Facebook.

Juderl Wed 12-Jun-13 14:46:24

Well done to Mumsnet for taking this on. I gave birth to my first child four months ago. About 30 mins after I emerged from the operating theatre, the Bounty rep appeared with her large camera and asked to take a picture of my baby (who was also recovering from a difficult delivery). She did not introduce herself or explain her purpose. I had no wish to see anyone at this intensely private time as I came round from all my meds and bonded with my son. I declined her offer.

To be fair, the rep was very polite and not overly pushy. Nonetheless, she continued to "work" the ward, hoovering up personal details from unquestioning new mothers. I found the whole incident deeply intrusive at a very vulnerable time and kept my curtains shut for the remainder of my time on hospital in case she (or any other pedlars) came back! In short, I thought it was totally inappropriate.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 12-Jun-13 14:49:34

'when my local hospital is currently not letting in the breastfeeding helpers, who could actually be very useful'


Why not?

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 15:03:32

Not sure, I'm sure I remember being told it was something to do with having too many people on the ward when it's busy, so very relevant to the bounty people being there!!

We're on the case to get back in (I'm newly qualified so yet to go in at all), but it's taking some time

happyberry Wed 12-Jun-13 15:06:51

Ive been a mum for almost 3 years now and this is the first time ive registered with mumsnet, I feel so strongly about this campaign! I didnt know who Bounty were until a few months AFTER Id left hospital. I never gave them my information because I was busy with my newborn daughter but my husband did because he thought they were midwives. They were dressed like midwives, never told us who they were and you assume they are nurses because of the security on baby wards. You dont expect strangers, let alone sales reps to be walking around a baby ward!! I only found out because I was getting inundated with junk mail about baby stuff and I was like how on earth do they know ive given birth? I thought the NHS was passing on my personal information. I finally contacted a baby photographer who was spamming me to say how he'd got my details, he said it was from some newmum database which came from a company called Bounty, then it all clicked into place because of the Bounty bag they give you (which is rubbish). I was livid!! as I never give out my personal details. The poor photographer was shocked too because he'd assumed the data he had was legitimate. I complained to Bounty and they just sent an arsy message saying my details have been removed, no apology.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Wed 12-Jun-13 15:16:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

landofsoapandglory Wed 12-Jun-13 15:25:00

The Bounty rep who visited me when I had DS1 was lovely, not at all pushy and extremely kind. I didn't see one when I had DS2 because he was born on Christmas Eve and we went home on Christmas Day.

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 12-Jun-13 15:26:11

You're so right with your "half a story" for anything on the Wright stuff Blackpool - but I'll tune in tomorrow to see if they cover it. They'll probably find several people to sing the praises of the crap Bounty pack, and say they had a cute picture taken of their DC hmm
Even if that were the case - though I defy anyone to sing the praises of the Bounty bag - one nappy and the smallest ever pot of nappy cream !
- It's not the point anyway !!
The point being even if it was OKish for you it wasn't for others, they have no right to be there, and they are not putting your well-being first.
Surely the mother's well-being and interests should be put first in the first few hours and days after giving birth ? - and nothing should compromise that, let alone for such trivial purposes.

musicalfamily Wed 12-Jun-13 15:41:54

I had a really bad experience with my last child and a Bounty rep (my child was born nearly 4 years ago). I was extremely tired and tearful, my DH and the midwife were there with me, to be honest I was so out of it I cannot remember even being able to talk.

She marched in and started asking for detail, DH say it was a bad time, she refused to budge, said "it only takes a few minutes", so he politely told her no thanks and her response was something along the lines of "it's useful information for your baby, you know", in a really aggressive manner and then added something like "but if you are not interested in your baby then just say and I will go". It was terrible.

I didn't complain because by the time we left hospital etc I had forgotten about it, but I thought it was outrageous behaviour. So well done mumsnet, totally support the campaign.

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 15:43:53

This IS a good campaign but be prepared for the fact that you might be in a minority. As a midwife I always felt the it was n ethical to be allowing Bounty access to new mothers in this way BUT I can tell you that there were many women who wanted and welcomed their "Bounty Pack", to the pont that they felt they had "missed out" if they had not got one. I did several trips to the Mat unit for packs as a Community midwife because women asked for and wanted them.
I suppose what I am saying is that 82% of MNers is not representative of the childbearing population at large.
What I WOULD welcome is much more information for mothers about what Bounty do (information gathering) and what this means in terms of junk mail etc.
I'd also like to see women get far more for their information than a mini pot of Sudocrem (crap anyway IMHO) and one nappy plus a trial size of sensitive washing powder/conditioner. Hold out for better freebies is my advice!

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 15:47:19

...oh and the Bounty reps I met (although have to admit only half a dozen or so) have all been lovely, and that includes the one I met after DS was born.

Don't forget this campaign will also do them out of a job. Just saying.

I think this is a good campaign but suspect it won't be a popular one. Much better to campaign for better and more freebies in exchange for that info we are giving them wink

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Wed 12-Jun-13 15:49:32

the wright stuffs facebook page
Maybe to balance the argument a little...?

meddie Wed 12-Jun-13 15:53:09

I have an issue with non healthcare trained strangers having free access to ward areas and potentially confidential medical information.
They have no right to be pulling curtains back or barging into rooms when mums might be getting examined or are exposed.

Are these people even clued up on infection control or are they going bed to bed touching and handling babies without washing their hands?

I also have an issue with mothers being duped into giving their details over to be sold on for profit and the subsequent spam they receive in exchange for a kickback to a hospital.

petition signed

merrymouse Wed 12-Jun-13 15:58:41

I am thinking that the women who were asking for bounty packs thought they were getting more than a free disposable nappy and some junk mail.

Lavenderloves Wed 12-Jun-13 16:07:57

I had a terrible birth, stricly no visitors and yet the fucking bounty rep was allowed into my room.

Its appalling. I told her leave, had a been less drugged up she would have got a mouth full.

No visitors on someones notes means exactly that!

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 16:20:39

Quite right merrymouse which is why we should be campaigning for much more wink.

I do think many women want these packs though, however appalling they are. It's that "something for nothing" thing. Funnily enough we debated this as a student midwifery forum twenty years ago. The number of midwives who felt that Bounty SHOULD be allowed in as "I loved having my Bounty pack when my baby was born" was amazing.

I agree with this campaign but am just pointing out that an awful lot of people will not. So perhaps we campaign for better goodies in exchange for our info instead.

10storeylovesong Wed 12-Jun-13 16:22:21

mumof4 have you even read the replies? How dare you tell people to grow up. You clearly live in a fantasy world. I was very much off limits and the bounty "lady" still barged into my private room without knocking or asking permission. And then implied that I did not need the pack as my baby might not make it. I was going through the most traumatic time of my life and did not need that. Thankfully my very sick baby pulled through, but even thinking of her attitude makes me feel sick. And I am not the only horror story.

82% of mumsnetters feel the same way. You are clearly in the minority.

Lavenderloves Wed 12-Jun-13 16:29:37

^^ i agree even my own mother was told not to visit. Yet the bounty wimen came in...

Maybe you need a horredous birth or a sick child to appreciate the horror of such a visit.

A hospital should be a safe place never are you more vulnerable than post birth.

The bounty rep should be duty bound to explain that they wish to sell your details on. As for the negotiating for better freebies omg no.

landofsoapandglory Wed 12-Jun-13 16:30:45

82% of Mumsnetters who took part in the survey don't agree with the Bounty Reps, not 82% of MNetters.

daftywoman Wed 12-Jun-13 16:32:04

I was told Bounty were paid to distribute the Child Benefit forms by my midwife...

daftywoman Wed 12-Jun-13 16:33:58

"The article says that HM Revenue and Customs pays £90,000 a year to Bounty to distribute the forms – even though they are available online."

ChildrensStoriesNet Wed 12-Jun-13 16:42:05

Bounty: Simply very bad practice and no doubt a breach of care and rights given the condition many of us find ourselves in shortly after a birth.

A very good campaign!

RubberBullets Wed 12-Jun-13 17:00:28

HMRC would be better off having the forms given out when babies are registered

HullMum Wed 12-Jun-13 17:01:01

noo if you were talking about people being rude to cold callers on the phone I would agree with you. they are just doing a job.

but when you go in ti someone's private room while they're tired and bleeding with their breasts out and you have no reason to be there.

any response you get is not rude and you should expect it. there really are other more ethical jobs

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Wed 12-Jun-13 17:15:49

I had a lovely experience with Bounty both times. In fact I was so annoyed that a Bounty rep wasn't on my ward the day after DS2 was born and I wanted the pics done I went and stole one from another ward blush. I very simply ticked the box saying i didn't want their marketing bumf after the initial pack (with all the brill freebies in it) and I haven't heard a peep from them.

I dont deny that some of the reps must be pushy, but I do think the campaign would be better focussed on their practices than banning them altogether, or perhaps campaigning for them to be 'benign' reps ie. people know they are there and can approach them. Banning them altogether just means the ones who want the pics lose out which doesnt seem fair.

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