If you’ve had a baby in hospital here in the UK over the last few years you’re likely to have encoutered a lady (and I think I’m right in saying that they’re nearly all ladies) from Bounty visiting you in your hospital bed to give you your “Bounty pack” and offer you their service of taking some photos of your new baby. You’re also likely to have been given another bounty pack by your midwife at your first booking appointment. These packs come full of (helpful) leaflets, plus lots of advertising, vouchers and free samples from companies that you may not have heard of pre-children, but that are likley to become staples on your shopping list afterwards.
Bounty (a company founded back in 1959) pay the NHS for being able to get to all these new mums directly through them. I’m sure it’s an income that the NHS isn’t keen to lose in these days of public sector cuts.
So, where’s the problem?
Well, as can be the case in any business where individuals are providing the service, it seems that some of the Bounty ladies are a bit pushy in their sales techniques when it comes to getting women who have just gven birth to sign up for having photos taken of their newborn children and handing over their personal information. Some women don’t appreciate having to deal with this intrusion into special time with their new baby when they’re feeling exhausted and vulnerable. Other women welcome them with open arms.
It seems that Mumsnet, an organisation that hasn’t always had a reputation of being full of sweet kind people, especially on their discussion forums, have put their name behind a campaign to end Bounty reps acess to women on postnatal wards. The Bounty Mutiny as it’s been called (see what they did there – very clever) has gathered a fair amount of traction and coverage in national press and online. It doesn’t all end there though.
Not everyone is happy with the Bounty Mutiny though. Some mums are more than happy with their encounters with Bounty reps and others feel that the whole campaign has just been set up by Mumsnet to try to belittle Bounty, a company which as well as the packs also run a website and forums offering advice to mums and mums to be – much like Mumsnet itself. Another petition has been set up calling for the Government to ignore the Bounty Mutiny, but sadly it appears to confuses the two issues of Mumsnet vs Bounty and the NHS needing to improve.
It still doesn’t end there though.
There are even other people asking you to say no to the say no to the Bounty Mutiny campaign. Are you keeping up?
I’m quite happy for there to be debate on the internet and fully understand that the two sides in a debate may well disagree. What I have a problem with is that some people online seem to have used the Bounty Mutiny as an excuse to just be nasty to each other and bully people who don’t share their views. It’s almost as if the whole Bounty Mutiny has become an excuse for old battles to be reignited in the public forum of social media.
Surely doing so just distracts from the debate itself and which side of it you support? And in my mind being nasty to people for disagreeing with you is just rude and inexcusable. Being nasty to people on social media is just bullying and that is never right. Bullying other people online and then using the same social media accounts to try to win over brands that you want to work with and that you want to respresent online appears foolish and extremely unprofessional.
The original debate seems to have been lost now, and speaking to other people it seems that everyone is now completely confused as to who is on which side of the argument and why, as everyone is instead distracted by the twitter feudes that are going on as a side-show. It’s also not left “mummy bloggers” in a good light to any outside audience.
So, whichever side of the Bounty arguement you’re on please just make your points and then enter into debate about it whilst respecting that there will be others who disagree with you. If you’re a blogger who works with brands then please remember that what you’re saying may well be read by the brands you work, or want to work, with.
As for my views on the mutiny… Personally I’ve never liked Bounty bars. It’s all that coconut. Really gets my teeth on edge. Never mind the tropical scenes suggested by the wrapper it’s never been my chocolate bar of choice – and that’s coming from a chocoholic. Put the coconut in a shampoo or a moisturiser though and I love it, especially the smell. Strange eh?
And if anyone is wondering – the links I’ve included in this post are ones that I found to represent points. By their inclusion I am not suggesting that the people, or organisations, behind these links are, or are not, doing anything right or wrong.