Charity Advertising

Charity Advertising

Promoting a charity is a much more complex process than promoting a product, service or brand. More so than a commercial business, a charity has to be seen to be getting value for money for its advertising campaign, otherwise it will be accused of wasting resources. However, like any other organisation, charities have to promote awareness, of both themselves and the causes they fight. They are often dealing with taboo areas of society, circumstances that audiences don't really want to read about, and the charities cannot be accused of glamourising their subjects. They must not veer too far towards deglamourisation either - charities have come under fire for using excessive and negative stereotyping in their advertising (especially in the representation of disabled people, or disaster victims). Complaints flood in to the Advertising Standards Authority if it is felt that an ad is too shocking, too controversial or too frightening. Charities are also reliant on finding unique selling points that are bad, and that are happening to other people - a long way from the aspirational hopes keyed into by other advertising.

Nonetheless, charity advertising is an innovative and creative field. Charities and ad agencies work hard within the restrictions imposed upon them to create ads that will provoke discussion as well as donation. Provocative advertising is one way of getting a charity into the news - where column inches are free.

Examples of Charity + Public Service Campaigns

Further Reading

The Guardian - articles

You will find a whole range of insightful articles at the charity campaigns section of the UK Guardian. Here are some of the best that I have found, but there are many more: