Cancer Research UK launches opt-in marketing drive

Cancer Research UK has launched an ad campaign to highlight that from July only people who have given their permission will receive the charity's fundraising marketing.

The charity launched the first phase of this campaign in April last year, when it started asking all new supporters to opt-in.

While in the short term, the charity will be communicating with fewer people, potentially negatively impacting the money it’s able to raise, it believes that the move will result in a greater level of engagement, loyalty and value in the long term. 

The opt-in issue hit the headlines in 2015 when the death of  92-year-old poppy-seller Olive Cooke was linked to her being bombarded by charities' direct marketing.

As a result, the RNLI became the first charity to commit to using only opt-in data and Cancer Research followed soon afterwards.

"The move for us to become an opt-in charity was driven by our desire to provide the best possible supporter experience," Graham White, director of individual giving at Cancer Research UK, said.

"Whilst we are very aware that we may lose touch with some of our supporters through this change, which we know will affect our fundraising income in the short term, we believe putting our supporters first will help us protect the future income of Cancer Research UK and safeguard our ambition to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured," he added.

The campaign has launched with press adverts, paid and organic social media, YouTube pre-rolls and PR.  The strapline, "Your Tick Beats Cancer Sooner" is aimed at highlighting the simplicity of opting in and the charity’s link to life-saving work.

Alongside an in-house creative team, the campaign's awareness advertising (Facebook, Youtube and press) was handled by Nonsense. Direct response mailing was managed by Atomic and Mediacom handled the campaign's media buying. 

The drive will target current supporters, new supporters and the general public.