Grieving Families Protest ‘Duplicitous’ Website that Reposts Death Notices in order to Sell Flower Deliveries

When does crass advertising go too far? Here is one strong candidate for that label: Everhere.com.

An Alberta man who, on the advice of doctors, is trying to keep news of his father’s death from his dementia-stricken mother, is the latest grieving family member to complain about a new website that reposts online obituaries alongside ads for flower deliveries.

His fear is that a bouquet and card will show up on his mother’s doorstep, and thus interrupt the delicate balance of what she knows about her husband, what she is capable of understanding through her dementia, and how it will affect her.

“I can handle it if she hears it from me,” Rick Laursen said. But finding out from a delivery would be needlessly traumatic. He has now put a sign on her front door directing any flower deliveries to a neighbour’s house.

Everhere.com was founded last year with the slogan “Where loved ones are Eternal.” The company says its aim is to create an “online database” of publicly posted obituaries, and to arrange them geographically by city. It also offers access to genealogical data.

You can read more about the controversy in an article by Joseph Brean in the Ottawa Citizen web site at: https://bit.ly/2umfbcb.

7 Comments

Legacy.com is equally guilty of this (being parent company of tributes.com).
My family managed to keep news of my sister’s death quiet for few months and obituary was finally published AFTER she was buried.

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It also appears they have changed their name. There were a number of reports of complaints against a company called Afterlife at afterlife.co but that address now goes to everhere.com.

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The problem with a sufferer of any type of dementia is that they don’t remember what they’ve heard; so every time a death is mentioned, the pain is fresh. Thanks for the ‘heads up’.

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Yes, it’s annoying when marketers use public information to target potential customers. But…it’s public information. An obituary is a public notice. No one is required to have one. If you don’t want word to get out don’t publish, post or otherwise distribute one.

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    You didn’t read this part “suggestions from a lawyer that the practice of copying text from published obituaries violates intellectual property law, just as much as if Everhere had cut and pasted a literary short story.” In addition, the website alters the obit for advertising purposes to say the family wants flowers sent to them when they don’t.
    The whole thing smacks of harassment of the bereaved and is likely illegal in most jurisdictions. The death may be “public” information, but most papers where I live have paid obituaries.

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Not to be discouraging, but the problem with the dementia patient is that you can tell them something like that and the next day they will have forgotten. So they will mourn anew every time they hear about a death.

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Linda S. has hit the nail on the head. The dates are OK to copy but the rest is under copyright: either the newspaper who published it or the family member who wrote the Obit. I wrote a long Obit when my Mother died in 2012, if I find it anywhere online I will go after the culprit!

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