The MS Society has launched its biggest ever public fundraising appeal to raise £100m to stop multiple sclerosis.
The appeal, which includes an advertising campaign featuring people living with the condition, will raise funds over a ten-year period. The Stop MS Appeal is designed to find treatments for everyone living with MS.
The charity has already raised £47m towards its target, having been running the appeal “behind the scenes” since February 2015, with support from philanthropists, trusts and businesses.
The Society expects to see a range of treatments for everyone in late stage trials by as early as 2025.
‘We need to act now and we need help’
Nick Moberly, chief executive of the MS Society, said: “Research has got us to a critical point, and we can see a future where nobody needs to worry about MS getting worse. That means not living in fear you’ll be reliant on a wheelchair, or one day lose your independence.
“We believe we can stop MS, and the worldwide research community is coming together to help us achieve our ambitious goal. But we need to act now, and we need help. This campaign is the first step in reaching a vital new audience, and we are so incredibly grateful to all the amazing people who have helped make it possible.”
The advert features four people living with MS and shows “some of the daily challenges of life with the condition”.
The agencies Publicis Health and Mediacom have worked with the MS Society on the campaign, which includes a film produced by Archer’s Mark with award-winning director James Lawes. Lawes has previously directed films for Cancer Research UK and Age UK.
Lawes said: “This has been an incredible project to be involved in, and hearing the MS Society’s goals for the Stop MS Appeal has been inspiring. I met a number of people affected by the condition while making the film, and was motivated by the impact the Stop MS Appeal could have on them and others.
“There is so much hope for what this campaign can achieve, and I’d love the advert to reach new audiences with that message, and get us closer to the £100m target.”
Andrew Spurgeon, chief creative officer at Publicis Health, said: “Our ambition as a company is to create a world where people are equipped and motivated to take control of their health. The Stop MS campaign is the first of hopefully many meaningful CSR collaborations which really brings this to life.”