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Charities not biting News of the World ads makes me happy

Charities not biting News of the World ads makes me happy
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Charities not biting News of the World ads makes me happy2

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 8 Jul 2011

While there are definite reasons why charities should take up the free News of the World advertising offer, Celina Ribeiro is - for now - pleased that so many have not.

I had started a different blog this morning. Musing on the various pros and cons of charities advertising in the News of the World on Sunday. Weighing up the potential impact they could have, versus the likely mild public outcry. Considering the ethical fingerprints the News of the World might leave on the pristine, shiny brands that charities work so hard to protect and develop.

Oh, 'twas a rational and reasonable blog, it was. I had come to the somewhat difficult conclusion that charities should go ahead and advertise. Come up with some sensitive advertising and do what they do best: raise money for their beneficiaries.

And then I discovered that RNLI, RSPCA, The Brooke, Care International, Thames Reach, Action Aid, WaterAid, Salvation Army, VSO, RSPCA, Oxfam and  Barnardo’s are understood to not be pursuing any free advertising with the newspaper. And you know what, I was really pleased. I was really proud of this little sector I report on day in, day out.  

To be fair, would ads in Sunday's News of the World really effect a step-change for fundraising in these organisations? No. Is the News of the World on Sunday going to have content, make its money, from illegal practices? No. Will it likely be a mild edition with poor sales, picked up by collectors of media history who would normally skim right past it for their regular dose of weekend broadsheets? Yes.

Many of these charities are big organisations with the resources to advertise in national newspapers. They can afford not to take up free advertising.

But in rejecting the offer they have also shown leadership. They have protected charities' moral high ground. And so they should.

If some charities do take up the offer, good luck to them. I hope they can boost their organisation’s profile and income and I hope they can do it in a way that is sensitive to the toxicity of the outlet in which they are appearing.

For now, however, I personally have yet to find a single charity that is planning to take up the offer. And for now, that fact pleases me. 

Val Humphreys
18 Jul 2011

Barnardo's are reported as one of the three charities to benefit from the sale of the last News of the World - that's
£2.8million divided by 3. Perhaps that is the silver lining in the dark cloud of corruption of journalism's ethics.But it's interesting that donating to charity is seen as a last resort way of finally doing the decent thing.

Pete Lambert
8 Jul 2011

Quite right of them, it cant be an easy decision but if the voluntary sector abandons its principles then what hope is there?

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Celina Ribeiro

Celina Ribeiro is the commissioning editor of Fundraising Magazine and contributor to Civil Society News.

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