Ban Bounty Photographers From Hospital Wards

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Example Situation: You have just gone through a 30-hour labour, culminating in an emergency C-section. You haven't slept in almost 2 days. A few hours later a healthcare assistant is helping you to breastfeed, when a stranger comes to your bedside. They give you some marketing literature and ask to take some photos of you & your newborn. You're half-dressed in a hospital gown, baby isn't latching properly, dignity & personal pride are long forgotten, and all this polite-but-pushy person wants is to take some photographs of you. How is this invasion of private, personal space still allowed in 2019?

Morality and photography are two areas which usually only cross paths in times of war or tragedy. However, Bounty exploits a mother's vulnerability at what should be one of the most important moment of her life.

Childbirth is a physically & emotionally traumatic time; therefore a hospital maternity ward should be a safe and calming environment, one where patient care is the first priority.

Mere hours after becoming new parents, people are being cold-called at their bedsides by Bounty representatives.

What is Bounty? "Bounty is a company whose primary purpose is to promote commercial products at a time when new parents are undergoing a transition in spending patterns. It uses the NHS to deliver advertising from a range of companies to target pregnant women, newly delivered women, and parents for up to a year after birth and beyond. It appears to sell on the database it develops to third parties." (source: http://www.lancashirechildrenstrust.org.uk/news/?articles=57606

Interruption from sales representatives there to pass on advertising material and extract personal data from mothers to sell on, is not something that new parents need. Yet in maternity units across the country this is what is happening, often within the first few hours of a baby being born.

Profit-motivated "parenting clubs" such as Bounty pay maternity units for the right to access their wards and approach mothers just hours after they have given birth. They are permitted to take photographs of new parents with their babies that they then sell back to the parents. They generate a profit from both the photographs, and also by selling the personal data obtained onto third-party companies, who then barrage parents with advertising and sales calls.

Hospital Bedsides are not the place for sales representatives to cold-call selling their products.The government must stop allowing commercial businesses to approach patients in maternity wards. 

 


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