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Crematoria sending memorial product brochures to grieving families – is that okay?


This article was from the Buckingham Today website concerning the practice of crematoria ‘up-selling’ to people who have used their services.

A couple received marketing literature from the crematoria operator a few days after the service for the man’s brother, they we appalled by this and told the newspaper so. They said they didn’t ask for it, or want it and it was “horrid”.

Basically, the crematoria send out brochures of products to their clients that they think the client may find comforting e.g. memorial jewellery and such like. I am lead to believe this practice generally applies only to privately operated crematoria.

It is true that a lot of people aren’t aware of the products out there and that some would welcome the information. However is it right to market in this way?

Is this approach rather cynical and indiscreet? It is I would think unlikely that the family had ticked the box saying ‘send me the bumph’. Dignity who operate the Northampton crematoria, near the village of Milton Malsor, are in the business of making money; they are a company like others and exist to make a profit; they have list of people who may wish to purchase – so is it that bad?

There was a couple of interesting quotes, the first from the aggrieved lady “It’s just the commercialisation of death which we find most distasteful, but it also seems a macabre way to remember someone.” Which makes two separate points, first fair enough, but the second is taste issue.

Then there is this part of the statement from Dignity  “Their details were ‘not passed on without their permission’ – we require them to administer the cremation and the leaflet is posted to all people who choose to take the cremated remains away with them.”

It is good that they don’t pass the details on, it seems they have to write to the client anyway and the marketing literature is popped in with the documentation. Although should they seek this opportunity to sell? Any opinions most welcome…..

Original story was in





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