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Fundraising agency Tag Campaigns placed into administration

Fundraising agency Tag Campaigns placed into administration
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Fundraising agency Tag Campaigns placed into administration

Fundraising | Niki May Young | 10 Jan 2013

Tag Campaigns Ltd has been placed into voluntary administration by its directors, blaming an over-investment in innovative products for its clients, coinciding with an onslaught of negative publicity.

In a statement released this afternoon the organisation said it had, "faced an unprecedented degree of media and regulatory attention in recent months, following a small number of examples of what we have always acknowledged were unacceptable operational shortcomings".

The organisation was the subject of an undercover Sunday Telegraph investigation which exposed a catalogue of shortcomings in its training of face-to-face fundraisers in June last year. The FRSB, having opened an investigation following the exposé, found that Tag staff had breached the Institute of Fundraising's face-to-face activity code and breached charity law. The organisation was invited in December to commit to a 12-month monitoring programme of face-to-face by the FRSB.

The organisation pledged to overhaul its fundraising after the Sunday Telegraph investigation, which included undercover footage, was broadcast. The report was based around Tag instructors' training of fundraisers for a Marie Curie campaign. Marie Curie immediately halted its fundraising with Tag, opening its own investigation and shortly after Oxfam too halted its fundraising through the firm.

A spokesman for Tag said that the cost of investing in "pioneering new fundraising methods", combined with the negative publicity and a "changing landscape with regard to sites access and allocation" have led the directors to "consider that the degree of risk invovled in engaging further losses moving forward has changed markedly".

"Having carefully reflected on all of this, they have concluded that the most responsible approach is now to place the company into voluntary administration," he said.

Tag Campaigns has 9 office staff and 40 operational staff. The administration will be handled by ResolvePartners LLP.

Last year saw Gift Fundraising fall into voluntary administration.

In response to today's news Ian MacQuillin, PFRA communications chief told civilsociety.co.uk that, "There's spare capacity there, in the past other agencies have moved in, now I think organisations are looking at doing prospecting in-house as well. The market regulates itself in that respect." 

The PFRA has 26 fundraising agencies listed as members on its website. 

MacQuillin advised that the PFRA was due to meet with the FRSB soon to discuss implementing the joint recommendations of the investigation into Tag's failures before meeting with Tag. "But of course this is moot now," he said. 

 

 

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