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

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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!

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)

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