Bounty sales reps in hospitals. A feminist issue?

(37 Posts)

Try as I might, I cant understand why anyone would think it is okay to have salespeople on a postnatal ward, whether they are nasty and giving the hard sell as a large percentage of MNers seem to have experienced , or even nice and "just" giving out the packs.

It wouldnt be allowed to happen anywhere else in hospital, so why the PN ward? And why are so many people not only happy with it, but defending it to those who are unhappy?

what do you think?

LineRunner Fri 14-Jun-13 19:33:30

Yes, the child benefit form is indeed online, Xenia, someone posted the link on the other thread.

That's what the hospital ward staff should be telling people.

NiceTabard Fri 14-Jun-13 20:43:53

xenia if a person is on heavy duty pain relief (ie morphine) in a hospital environment, is there really nothing in the law which says they cannot be approached by people with hard-sell techniques?

NiceTabard Fri 14-Jun-13 20:46:06

Frankly I was as high as a kite while on the morphine self-dosing thing and I do not think that is an appropriate situation for hard selling.

TBH ditto pulling curtains back - who knows what is going on behind them.

On any other "high risk" ward with people drugged, catheterised, on drips etc they wouldn't be sending sales people in.

It's outrageous, IMO.

zigzoo Fri 14-Jun-13 21:12:13

yes definitely a feminist issue as is birth of course but sometimes we are told here that that's not a feminist issue hmm

Vegehamwidge Fri 14-Jun-13 21:54:14

Surely things that affect mostly/only women = feminist issue?

meddie Fri 14-Jun-13 23:41:23

My major issue is one of privacy and obtaining by deception, even as a nurse I wouldnt dream of just yanking back a closed curtain without first checking it was ok to enter (that the patient wasnt exposed etc) These woman seem to have no compunction whatsoever in doing it.

As for the deception. The women believe they are receiving free goodies and their CB form and are not told that actually, they are really there to collect data to sell on to 3rd parties and the freebies are just a smoke screen.

I had my kids in the 80's and the packs were different. They often contained full size samples. few vouchers and the CB form. The deal in those days I beleive was that manufacturers paid a fee to include their samples and the manufacturers hoped this would promote brand loyalty.
I remember getting full size shampoo, lotion and baby bath, sterilising tablets, breast pads, nappies, creams. It was a decent starter pack.

Since the internet its much more profitable s just to sell the data on. You are lucky to get a solitary nappy and a small tub of sudocrem now.

People would be horrified if salepeople for wheelchairs and mobility scooters approached post op amputees, or stannah tried to sell stair lifts on care of the elderly wards. Why is this practise allowed.
Why are women and their privacy and dignity for sale.

Spiritedwolf Sat 15-Jun-13 11:05:57

Meddie, see what you've said about promoting brand loyalty, I think that for me, one of the issues is indeed women being exposed to adverts when their bodies are flooded with oxytocin designed to help them bond with and feed their babies. It seems remarkably underhand to take advantage of women's physiology at this time to get them to 'bond' with logos and marketing material.

Our brains recognise brands the same way we do people, it follows for me that we are probably susceptible to becoming more favourable to brands we are exposed to post birth than at other times. I gave birth in an NHS trust in Scotland which I presume does not allow bounty (I saw no sign of bounty stuff and NHS Scotland has its own information packs with no advertising). But I certainly 'bonded' with my midwives more than medical staff I've met at other times, presumably partly because of the emotional state I was in at the time.

I hope it is clear that I am not saying that women who have given birth are incapable or stupid, but we are more vulnerable. I was lucky to have a straightforward birth with a ridiculously good recovery despite needing stitches (I had to ask why I was being offered pain relief, whether they had mixed me up with someone who had a CS - not realising that I could have been in pain) - but I don't think I'd have been able to fend off direct sales people.

I am certain that on a previous thread people pointed out all the ways direct selling on wards contravined directed selling regulations. Selling to people who are in bed, in a space that they can reasonably be to be private, giving the impression that they are part of the HCP team, when they might be in pain or drugged is wrong and is already against regulations/guidelines on direct selling. That doesn't mean that folk who are vulnerable in this way are incapable of consenting or not consenting to medical proceedures (though I do think that HCPs have to be clear what a patient's choices are) but that they might not feel able to say no to sales people.

What about the 14/10/7 (whatever it is) right to cancel if someone comes around your house selling double glazing? Protecting people from pressure selling doesn't mean that you are saying that they are unintelligent or incapable of making decisions, it just reflects that when people are put on the spot, in their own homes they might regret the decision later.

Spiritedwolf Sat 15-Jun-13 11:06:23

14/10/7 day* right to cancel

Xenia Sat 15-Jun-13 12:55:22

"xenia if a person is on heavy duty pain relief (ie morphine) in a hospital environment, is there really nothing in the law which says they cannot be approached by people with hard-sell techniques?"

I wouldn't allow them in at all if I ran a hospital. It's ethically dubious and I believe quite a lot of hospitals do not allow them in on those grounds.

Is it illegal for hospitals to allow someone in who may persuade eg very poor mothers to buy a photo they cannot afford just after they gave birth? (I am less worried about vouchers and getting emails later as you can always unsubscribe or opt out so it's not quite such a big issue). I can see illegality if the hospital provides patient details or lets the Bounty people look at names of mothers on a chart in the ward office as someone mentioned on another thread.
It could also be illegal to photograph when someone is sleeping.

There are 2008 regulations about misleading marketing and saying things like I will lose my job unless I make a sale or making untrue statements when marketing and also that includes aggressive selling such as I will not leave your home until you sign or pushing the customer against the wall. I suspect it is unlikely most bounty staff are doing that. Pulling back someone's curtains around their bed is probably not an offence even if she has her knickers off and is looking at bleeding from her between her legs as it is a public ward and people do come and go... this is all making me very pleased I always went home within 6 hours and avoided going on to a maternity ward ever.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xenia Sat 15-Jun-13 15:18:31

Good point. I am certainly in favour of banning them. It is just I am not sure legal reasons is going to be the best way as I think Bounty can be allowed access in ways that are legal. I think it's about the right to give birth and recover free of commercial influences and having peace and privacy.

(A do recommend 6 hour transfer if you aren't going for a home birth and you want to get back into your own space and away from an institutional environment and of course are well enough. It was so nice to get right back home so quickly).

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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