Thank You For Your Overwhelming Support 0

Support for our ads

The last few days have seen a media frenzy engulf us here at Beyond, at least when compared with our usual sedate existence.

You may have seen our banned adverts covered in major newspapers, online, on TV, radio and even across the Atlantic in the New York Times.

And we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the public. The Metro encouraged thousands of people to take part in an online poll and 76% of them voted in favour of the adverts being shown.

Because of the exposure, in the last 48 hours alone, hundreds of people have created their will online with us. All for free, raising several hundred thousand pounds for charity through legacy gifts.

There has been so much positive feedback on social media and we have been touched by the people who have taken the time to email us with kind messages, such as these:

“I very recently lost my brother who left no estate, meaning his siblings paid for his funeral. I felt very uncomfortable shopping around to get a decent funeral at an affordable price. Funeral services should be competitive, open and a subject we are all comfortable with. There is one sure thing in life: we are all going to die at some point and planning for that event should be an integral aspect of life. Any light relief at such a time helps. I love the adverts, they are funny, and could be a trailblazer in helping bring the cost down.”

“I’m 80 and no doubt will need your services sometime, but hopefully not soon….!!! However, I have just read your funeral advert banned by British Transport, with two people running to the beach with surf boards shaped like coffins etc., and just had to send this message to say I think it’s great and certainly raised a laugh for me. Don’t be put off by their stuffiness and produce a few more adverts with the same sense of humour.”

We’re delighted with the exposure that the adverts have received, however I’m aware that not everyone agrees with our approach, and of those who do, not all of them have been exposed to the reasoning behind the adverts and what we are trying to achieve.

As I expand on in the blog article and TV appearance below, when something is taboo, as with death, it creates an environment where bad actors can operate. And our fear of engaging on the subject – creating that shared code of silence – allows predators to rip us off. We pay too much for funerals, funeral plans and wills because we don’t feel able to shop around. Companies can charge us exorbitant fees because we don’t compare, we don’t negotiate, we don’t feel empowered to take control.

So, I would encourage you, whether you are supportive or not, to read, watch and listen to the below links and to perhaps appreciate a little more why we feel it is vitally important to spark a conversation about death in this country.

Read here why we designed the adverts: Let’s talk about death

Watch me discuss the adverts on The Victoria Derbyshire show, BBC2: Appearance on Victoria Derbyshire Show

Listen to me discuss the adverts on TALKradio with Jamie East and Trisha Goddard: Appearance on Talk Radio

And finally, I want to take a moment to recognise that not all funeral directors are out to get you. We have hundreds of wonderful independent funeral directors on our website, who are committed to transparency of pricing and service quality. Every day they do a fantastic job, taking care of bereaved families up and down the country and they deserve our praise for being the bold and brave of the industry, leading by example.

Thank you for your time

Best, Ian

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CMA Report Calls for Price Transparency 0

Many of our regular readers will know by now that the CMA’s interim report landed late last week.

It’s clear from the contents that the government have validated what we’ve all been saying on behalf of families and independent funeral directors for the last few years. Specifically that:

  • The large chains have preyed on bereaved families with excessive price hikes in both funeral director and crematorium fees, as well as failing to provide clarity of ownership.
  • The NAFD has failed consumers, specifically that it has ‘fallen short’ and may have been ‘detrimental to competition’. Particularly that it has taken a position on websites like Beyond that’s ‘ambiguous at best’ and that it risks ‘distorting the market’ by its actions.

We’re delighted that hardworking independent funeral directors who publish their pricing online are going to be rewarded by the CMA, while those who deliberately make their prices difficult to discover are taken to task.

We’ll be doing our part, too. We’ll be supporting all the independent funeral directors signed up to our service so that they can be sure they’re meeting any recommendations from the CMA on comparable price transparency, simply by being on our website. We’ve also got a bundle of free services coming for our partners in the New Year.

If you’re not yet signed up with us, but you’d like to join the thousands of funeral directors on our site who are doing their bit towards price transparency in this industry, why not make an account today? We’d love to have you with us.

There are no monthly fees, and our funeral finance, free wills and estate administration services are there to help you offer the families to help complete, well-rounded support. Simply give us a call on 0800 044 9454 and we’ll get you set up in a matter of minutes, or build your free business profile here.

Beyond ‘Let’s Talk About Death’ Campaign Wins Drum Award 0

Beyond win Drum Out of Home Awards

Season’s greetings!

Celebrations are underway at the Beyond office this week, as we’ve been given an early Christmas present: a prestigious marketing award!

Our summer ‘Let’s Talk About Death’ campaign has won the Drum Creative Out of Home Award in the ‘Viral’ category, with the judges praising our success in driving a conversation about death against the odds.

Let’s talk about death…

Released mid-July, our ‘Let’s Talk About Death’ campaign used a little black humour to break through the silence that surrounds anything death-related. You can check out all of the ads here.

Rejected by TFL, the ‘Let’s Talk About Death’ campaign found new life on social media. The ‘banned’ ads were then quickly picked up by press across the world. We appeared in print, on TV and on the radio, sparking an energetic debate about whether and how we should talk about funeral services.

As we’ve said before, we couldn’t be more delighted with the results of this campaign. We strongly believe that to drive positive change in this industry – whether that be price transparency, or a better approach to after life services overall – we as a society need to be talking about death.

This campaign achieved that. And, as an added bonus, thousands of people have created their will online with us for free, raising several hundred thousand pounds for charity through legacy gifts.

Beyond win Drum Out of Home Award 2018Our CEO, Ian Strang, has this to say:

“When something is taboo, as with death, it creates an environment where bad actors can operate. And our fear of engaging on the subject – creating that shared code of silence – allows predators to rip us off. We pay too much for funerals, funeral plans and wills because we don’t feel able to shop around.

“Following the controversy, we were overwhelmed by the support we received from the public and this award gives a further stamp of approval from the advertising industry to our campaign.”

Thank you for your support

As gratifying as awards are, the most rewarding outcome from this campaign has been the support we’ve received both from those in the industry and the general public.

We’ve heard from independent funeral directors, who appreciated that only by breaking the silence around funerals could we advocate for those in this industry who offer the best value and service to their customers.

We’ve also heard from non-profits – those who campaign for the same fairness and transparency we aim to provide.

And we’ve heard from bereaved people themselves, who stood up for us and fought for their right to know that services like ours exist. This support has meant the world to us.

In the end, 76% of those who saw our ads agreed that they didn’t deserve to be hidden away: that a conversation about death is a conversation worth having. To all those people, thank you. And let’s keep that conversation going.