Saatchis stunned by NSPCC rethink

Britain’s biggest-spending charity, the NSPCC, admitted this week that it was looking for a new agency, despite the accolades showered on the incumbent, Saatchi & Saatchi, for its controversial ’full stop’ campaign.

Britain’s biggest-spending charity, the NSPCC, admitted this week

that it was looking for a new agency, despite the accolades showered on

the incumbent, Saatchi & Saatchi, for its controversial ’full stop’

campaign.



Saatchis, which has worked on the business for 15 years, faces a fight

against a six-strong list of agencies, which includes Leagas Delaney,

Court Burkitt & Co, WCRS, Lowe Howard-Spink, TBWA GGT Simons Palmer and

St Luke’s. Saatchis claimed it would also be involved in the next stage

of the campaign.



The NSPCC has put pounds 6 million - twice as much as any other UK

charity - behind Saatchis’ hard-hitting ads over the past 12 months.

These focused on the temptation to ignore child cruelty rather than do

something about it, and featured screaming parents and terrified

children.



An NSPCC spokesman claimed its discussions with agencies were part of a

statutory review of its advertising account. However the briefing

document tellingly specifies that the agency must be ’committed’,

’reliable’ and ’available’, hinting at possible problems in the

past.



’We are undertaking this review as a best practice measure. We feel this

is a responsible approach to all involved with the NSPCC,’ the spokesman

said.



Saatchis denied there had been any account management problems on the

business. ’We worked on this (full stop) campaign for four years, and

have been hugely committed,’ Saatchi & Saatchi’s joint chief executive,

Tamara Ingram, said.



The deliberately unsettling work has already raised pounds 300 million

for the charity, six times more than it normally collects, and has

resulted in the recruitment of 140,000 new campaigners against child

cruelty.



The advertising shows childhood icons, such as Rupert Bear, Action Man,

Alan Shearer and the Spice Girls hiding their eyes from witnessing

different types of child abuse, and uses the line, ’Sometimes, we can’t

bear to look either’.



It attracted 150 complaints from people who found it too disturbing.



However, the Independent Television Commission ruled that the ads were

generally acceptable and should be allowed to continue.



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