Targeted advertising and how to stop it
We understand the distress and upset that may be caused by some pregnancy and baby-related emails, adverts and mailings after you have suffered a pregnancy loss.
We’ve gathered together some information to help stop or reduce targeted advertising for as long as you need. If it feels too difficult to action the steps and information given here, you might like to ask a family member or trusted friend to do it on your behalf.
Please note that we are based in the UK and that while most of our information will apply to other countries too, their rules, regulations and complaints systems may be different from those here.
A Digital Bereavement Checklist
Australian journalist Annie Bucknall’s ‘Digital Bereavement Checklist’ is a really useful resource for anyone being bombarded by ads that they just don’t want to see. It contains easy to follow guidance for: clearing your browsing history and cookies, managing social media and google ad preferences and unsubscribing from newsletters and subscriptions. (Annie is based in Australia, but her advice holds for the UK too.)
Unwanted emails usually need to be unsubscribed from one by one. Those from the UK should have an ‘unsubscribe’ option at the bottom of the email (and many from other countries do too), so you can choose to stop future emails. If you are still receiving emails a week later, you can raise a complaint with either
- the Direct Marketing Commission, by filling in their online form – or
- the Information Commissioners Office
If there is no unsubscribe option in the email and they are a UK company, you can also complain as above.
If there is no unsubscribe option and they are from outside the UK, you could just reply, putting UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line and perhaps a line of text too, such as: Please take my email address off your lists immediately. I will inform you if I want to subscribe in the future.
For direct mailing by post you can register with the Baby Mailing Preference Service which is a free service to help reduce the number of baby-related mailing you receive..
We know that things can change quickly and frequently in the digital world, but we’ll do our best to keep this information up to date. If you have any advice or suggestions that might help us to do that, then do get in touch.