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RCOG statement on Baby & You magazine

News 29 May 2013

Baby & You (formerly You and Your Family by CW Publishing) is published by B&Y Publishing Ltd, in association with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and is a free magazine.

The RCOG did not set up Baby & You as mentioned in the BMJ article (‘Doctor brands NHS profits from pregnancy “unacceptable”’ BMJ 29/05/13). It receives a fixed royalty from B&Y, not dependent on income generated by the magazine. All monies are reinvested in the RCOG’s charitable activities.

B&Y Publishing are responsible for commissioning all content, advertising, sales, production, printing and distribution of the magazine.

The RCOG provides copy approval for all articles published in the magazine. This is a rigorous process with senior clinicians vetting all editorial and advertising copy. RCOG has rejected adverts in the past which do not conform to the agreement and its strict advertising and sponsorship policies.

The RCOG plays no role in the pitching process to and contracts with potential advertisers. We do not offer advertorials to commercial companies in any of our publications in exchange for influence as reported in the BMJ article.

The RCOG was made aware of an approach by a member of staff from B&Y to a commercial organisation and immediately notified the publishers, asking for an investigation into the complaint.

The RCOG has also communicated directly with the complainant, informed him of the action taken and of the possible timescales to resolve the issue.

An investigation has started and B&Y will need to respond before the RCOG decides on the next steps.

The involvement of the RCOG in quality assuring the content of widely-distributed, free magazines, such as Baby & You, is important in ensuring that mothers are receiving the best information through commercially-sponsored publications, as well as through material produced by the NHS and the College itself.