Matt Warman MP: “Advertisers should let the bereaved opt out of Mother’s Day Marketing”

Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, will today lead the adjournment debate in the House of Commons, calling on advertisers to allow those who have suffered a bereavement to opt out of marketing around Mother’s Day and similar occasions.

Drawing on his own experience of losing his parents ten years ago, Matt will highlight the pain experienced around Mother’s Day by many who have been bereaved, and call for a voluntary code for advertisers which allows people to opt out of related marketing. This, he will say, will help to prevent immense upset to so many people, and build on the good work by charities such as Cruse.

Additionally, reflecting on his own experience of loss, he will call for further Government action to provide support to people who have suffered a bereavement at the time when they feel ready, recognising that this is not always immediately after the loss of a loved one. With bereavement being an exacerbating factor for loneliness and, tragically, sometimes even suicide, Matt will highlight the need for ongoing support in the form of counselling to be more accessible via the NHS, rather than left primarily to the charity sector.

Commenting, Matt said,

“I know from personal experience the dread that seemingly innocent marketing for Mother’s Day, or indeed Father’s Day, can bring for so many who have lost a loved one. While we, of course, want to recognise our appreciation for mothers, small changes by advertisers to allow people to opt out of related communications will make a huge difference for those who find this day deeply painful. Some have already done this voluntarily, and that is hugely welcome.

We must also not underestimate the importance of ongoing support for people who have suffered a bereavement; that is why I will highlight to Ministers the need to ensure that this is available to those who need it, when they need it, which can often be months or even years after a loved one passes away.

I hope that my debate will serve to remind people that the pain, anger and uncertainty of loss is a normal feeling around bereavement, and to remind them that seeking support is no sign of weakness. There is support available around bereavement, but there should be more – and there could easily be small changes in advertising which would make a real difference at a difficult time of year for people who have suffered a loss.”

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