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Public support for charity ad shock tactics

Public support for charity ad shock tactics
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Public support for charity ad shock tactics

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 15 Apr 2010

The public have given the thumbs up to shock tactics in charity advertising, as a new poll shows four out of five people support controversial content in aid of charitable aims.

A YouGov poll released today found that 79 per cent of the public felt that shock tactics are justified in adverts which promote charities or charitable issues. The level of support was even higher for the use of shock tactics in domestic violence, at 82 per cent, but dropped when related to mental illness (68 per cent) or physical disability (65 per cent).

Nearly half of those polled said that they had seen a shocking charity ad. The ads were powerful enough for 40 per cent of those who had been exposed to the material to report that they had taken some action, with only a small fraction saying they had been compelled to cancel their donations or report the advert. A fifth had chatted to friends about the advert after watching it, while another 13 per cent reported having made a donation after

But while the public expressed theoretical support for shock tactics in domestic violence ads, less than 40 per cent said they felt that last year’s graphic Women’s Aid ad featuring Keira Knightley should be allowed to be aired without restriction. A further 47 per cent said they felt it should be aired, but with some restrictions.

The controversial Beatbullying advertisement featuring a girl sewing up her mouth, which was driven online after being banned for television, received rather more support, with 53 per cent of respondents saying it should be aired freely. 

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