Bounty – new mothers can say no
As a B2B and Consumer PR Agency it’s our job to read the print and online media religiously. Not only for seeing what is happening and current but also for identifying new opportunities for clients in the specialist areas we cover including baby, lifestyle and b2b.
One news story that caught our eye this week appeared across many of the major newspaper titles and online including many popular parenting websites that we deal with as a specialist baby PR agency. The story about Bounty’s access to new mothers so soon after giving birth has caused a flurry of heated debate and arguments.
The full article, which was originally published on BMJ.com (British Medical Journal) quotes Dr Margaret McCartney where she openly criticise the NHS for letting Bounty gather very sensitive and often personal information about the newborn including date of birth and weight.
Others have also gone on the attack including the NCT and Mumsnet with the latter stating that its members have reported ‘being hassled by overzealous Bounty salespeople, with some implying parents will only be able to claim child benefit if they fill in Bounty’s forms’.
The birth of any child is an emotional rollercoaster. This is when parental bonding with the child is at its most intimate and perhaps the hospital ward isn’t really the best place for pushy sales people to ‘encourage’ new mums to have their child’s photo taken – all for a price of course.
Yet, despite this, I don’t have any negative thoughts about my own Bounty experience when my children were born. Though I too, like many other parents, didn’t realise at the time that I didn’t have to provide them with the information and it wasn’t a must.
The debate will rage on particularly among parenting groups who believe it’s an intrusion on privacy during such a precious and sensitive time. Bounty themselves are arguing that 90 per cent of mothers it has spoken to ‘were satisfied with its service’. But perhaps now is time for more openness and a consumer PR campaign where parents are better educated about Bounty’s role in the hospital ward.
New mums don’t have to release such information to the company and it’s their personal choice. The coverage in the national and online media has started the debate – now it’s up the parents to decide whether or not to just say thanks but no thanks.