Boots claims morning-after pill row has led to staff 'harassment'

Boots has claimed its staff are being 'harassed' after calls to reduce the price of the morning-after pill

Boots has claimed its staff are being “harassed” by supporters of a British pregnancy charity following a dispute over the cost of the morning-after pill.

According to lawyers for the high street retailer, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has helped its advocates unleash a “torrent of personal abuse” at senior Boots staff.

Law firm Schillings is behind the letter in which Boots accuses the BPAS of the “facilitation and tacit encouragement of personal abuse” thanks to an online form created by the charity to encourage members of the public to contact Boots which, from 20-24 July, contained the names of five Boots employees. Four of those names have since been removed.

According to reports, one employee was called a “vile, nasty, strange excuse of a half man,” another email to Boots staff claimed “you will have to answer to God for what you have done”.

A Boots spokesperson said the legal letter was a move to “actively protect our colleagues from abuse and harassment.

“We asked [BPAS] simply to remove personal email details from their campaign widget and to agree not to encourage personal abuse of our people.”

BPAS, however, has said these messages “misrepresent” how the form has been used claiming thousands of women who needed emergency contraception as well as pharmacists, GPs and other healthcare professionals had also been in touch.

BPAS’ statement added Boots had “failed to provide any evidence of abuse sent through the campaign.”

In July Boots issued an apology for the way it handled calls to cut the price of the morning-after pill after it was revealed far cheaper alternatives were available from the likes of Tesco and Superdrug. Since then Boots has confirmed it will offer a £15.99 alternative to morning-after pill Levonelle, priced at £28.25, along with an own-brand offering priced at £26.75.

Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

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