Using the NHS to gain commercial access to pregnant women and new mothers is totally unacceptablePrivate companies that exploit pregnant women courtesy of NHS staff and services have long made me sick. Companies with commercial agendas dressed up as philanthropy – such as Emma’s Diary and Bounty – are promoted to pregnant women via their appointments with midwives or GPs and after childbirth in NHS hospitals. They dangle free gift incentives in front of women, encouraging them to sign up to mailing lists and baby clubs that will share their data (thanks to carefully worded privacy statements) with a wide range of firms – from pharmaceuticals to cars. These firms will go on to bombard them with marketing materials at a time of financial and emotional strain. And now we know that some of the data collected by one company was used for political purposes.
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