MEDICINE AND THE MEDIA
Profits from pregnancy: how trusted organisations sell out women to commercial interests
The NHS and some UK royal colleges profit by selling commercial advertisers access to pregnant women through promotions such as Bounty bags. These potential conflicts of interest are unacceptable, considers Margaret McCartney
Below are some of the stuff you get in the Bounty bags; bottom is Emma’s Diary, which I hope the RCGP scrap, and which I rescued these from the recycling bin to share with you.
I thought it would be interesting to collate the emails you get once signed up.
In short, it’s a daily email plus rather a few phone calls.
I was phoned by Eon energy today (via Emma’s diary); and an insurance company yesterday.
They also send a daily email, as do Bounty.
Typically, you get an ‘exclusive’ discount code for photography/insurance/clothes/supermarkets/cleaning products/nappies/holidays or a ‘special offer’.
It’s also notable that Bounty have changed their description of themselves on Linkedin, from
“Bounty is the UK’s favourite parenting club and Bounty Media is the market leading media owner in the parenting category with a strong portfolio of six unique media channels communicating with parents, women and growing families. Bounty’s 50 year pedigree has made it one of the most trusted businesses within this sector, with the power to influence both the purchasing habits of parents and women, and the marketing success of the brand owners and clients who work with Bounty.”it’s now“As a free to join parenting club, Bounty has been giving mums more for more than 50 years.
We help new and expectant mums to learn, share and save – throughout pregnancy, young family life and beyond
Through relevant commercial partnerships, Bounty members receive offers, discounts, samples and more from leading brands and retailers
Bounty is a responsible company and we feel very strongly about using our capability in a positive way to support government, charities and organisations in providing information and support to parents.
We get involved in supporting a host of charities in the parenting arena that echo our aim of helping families get the most out of family life. This work and effort means an awful lot to the charities and all the families they touch, and it makes us immensely proud to know the difference our business can make.
Our long-term charity partner is Tommy’s – we fund 3 research midwives and jointly promote the ‘5 Point Pregnancy Plan’ to mums-to-be, to improve their health and that of their baby.
To find out more see www.bounty.com/what-we-do“It’s also notable that both Tommy’s charity and the Lullaby Trust have both endorsed Bounty on twitter in the last few days
We’re proud to work with
@BountyUK to reach mums with advice on health in pregnancy. See our 5 point pregnancy plan
The Lullaby Trust is proud to work with
@BountyUK who help us share our life-saving tips on baby sleep safety with mums
which is disappointing, given that they could offer information to women without Bounty making money out of selling on their details.
It’s also worth noting that Bounty have sent out a letter telling midwives that they are ‘a good thing’. This reminds me very much of marketing strategy; embed yourself with patient charities; write to healthcare professionals saying what a good job you are doing; and don’t listen to the criticism from real live patients on the ground saying that the intervention is unhelpful, harmful, or has nasty side effects.