You know you might think I rant and moan a lot, but I didn’t just develop that out of thin air myself, I inherited it. My Father is the champion complainer and taught me everything I know. Over Xmas we talked a lot about world events, news and life in general (or rather ranted) and his biggest annoyance was the conning of the UK public into donating to charities which call themselves National and yet don’t cover the UK. In this instance he was manipulated by a Scottish TV advert into paying money into a National charity, only to find out later that they don’t serve Scotland, that’s handled by another charity!
So let me step aside and pass this post over to my Father who will let you know the full story. It’s worth reading for you might think you’re helping a charitable cause but not realising you’re excluding your own country. Ladies and Gentlemen, my Father…
Many months ago, I was persuaded by the emotional content of the TV advert for the NSPCC (the National Society for the Protection against Cruelty to Children) to make a donation over the phone. This Charity claims on their web site to be “the UK’s leading charity specialising in child protection”.
I later found out that that there is a corresponding Charitable body in Scotland, entitled Children 1st, (the Royal Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children)
When I saw the TV advert again later on, I realised that for a short period, wording similar to “We cover England, Wales and Northern Ireland” appears on the screen. However, I am sure that, like me, many people’s attention would be concentrated on the emotional aspect of the advert, and not such wording.
Now I am unhappy about this for a number of reasons – first, that it must inevitably take money away from the Scottish Charity which deals with the same problem in Scotland; second, that it was shown on a commercial tv station (Grampian) which covers the North-east of Scotland; third, that the said Charity are now sending me regular requests for funds through the post and re-enforcing their “intrusion” into Scotland, and fourth, that (in my opinion) their TV advert almost falls in the category of misleading advertising.
What have I done about this? Well, a description of my success rate so far must include the words “head”, “banging” and “brick wall”.
An email to the Charity Commission produced a reply, and I quote from their letter:
Well, I disagree with them, but they suggested that I should contact the Advertising Standards Agency, which I did, and their reply included the following:
We don’t feel that the content of this advertising breaches our rules, and it’s not unusual for charity advertising to make an appeal beyond its “home” base. However, we have not received any formal complaints from organisations in Scotland devoted to child welfare but we would be willing to consider any such complaints made to us, and judge them on their merits.”
So, the ASA appear to be unconcerned about “Joe Public” complaining about matters such as this, but would wait until the Scottish Society complained – would such a complaint not create a strained relationship between the 2 Societies?
Am I being unreasonable in wishing to restrict my charitable donation for this cause to Scotland, and expect that an English Charity should not “trespass” into Scotland to do their fund-raising, or was I particularly gullible in responding hurriedly to an emotional advert?