Companies offer Father's Day email opt-out for bereaved customers

The Samaritans took their first phone call in Edinburgh 60 years ago.
The Samaritans took their first phone call in Edinburgh 60 years ago.
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Retailers are offering consumers the chance to opt out of Father’s Day-related marketing emails this year in a bid to reduce painful reminders for people who have lost a father or partner.

Firms including bookseller Waterstones and flower delivery company Bloom and Wild said they wanted to make things easier for people for whom Father’s Day is not a happy occasion.

Companies have told customers that they can stop receiving marketing messages about the event, but still remain signed up to their other emails.

Bereavement charities welcomed the move, which they described as “encouraging”.

One shopper from Edinburgh, Tracey Jane, who lost her father four years ago, said: "When my dad passed away four years ago, it was difficult walking around the city centre around this time of year. With companies advertising so far in advance these days Father's Day seems to be everywhere for what feels like months. Around this time of year I open my e-mails and have at least 20 messages as well as the in shop advertising.

"It's difficult not to get upset. Companies offering the option to opt out is extremely thoughtful. It's difficult losing a parent and the general public definitely should be more sensitive. I hope more companies follow suit next year and beyond."

James Jopling, executive director of Samaritans Scotland, said: “We know events like Father’s Day can be difficult for people for a range of reasons, particularly for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide.

“So it’s important for companies to recognise that, while Father’s Day will be a source of happiness for many people, for others it can be a particularly painful time. It’s therefore encouraging to see organisations showing sensitivity and offering customers the opportunity to opt-out of marketing messages, giving people the space to process their feelings in their own way.”

In an email to customers, online beauty firm Treatwell wrote: “Already, there’s a lot of talk about Father’s Day out there and we know that for some people, this can be a sensitive occasion.

If you’d rather not hear about it from us, we’ll do our best to make sure that you don’t.”

Sara Gordon, spokeswoman for online flower delivery firm Bloom and Wild, said: “Last year we spoke to some of our customers who shared that this time of year can be a really hard time for them as their father may not be around or they have had trials around parenthood.

“It was a mix of genius from our technology team to be able to exclude peak occasion focused e-mails but also our customer relationship management team who wanted to deploy this initiative.”

She added: “It’s the right, responsible thing to do and shows a high level of care for the people who shop with us.”

Some retailers adopted a similar strategy for Mother’s Day this year.