Marie Curie cancer charity is talking to agencies about the future of
its pounds 450,000 advertising account, casting doubts over Doner
Cardwell Hawkins’ hold on the business.
The charity confirmed this week that Peter Jennings, its marketing and
fund-raising director, would be seeing agency credentials during the
next few weeks. ‘He is getting agencies to come in and make
presentations, but there’s no timetable for getting a new agency in
place,’ a marketing executive said.
Doner Cardwell, which won the business five years ago in its previous
incarnation as GGK London, said it would decide whether or not to
repitch for the business after seeing the brief.
Jennings, who joined Marie Curie six months ago from Vaux Breweries
Division, where he was marketing and take-home director, immediately set
in motion a review of the charity’s communications strategy above and
below the line.
The charity - named after the Nobel prize-winning discoverer of radium -
incurs costs of pounds 16 million a year to run the 11 Marie Curie
hospices which provide medical and nursing care for cancer patients, and
another pounds 2 million a year to support scientists working at the
Marie Curie Research Institute.
Because of the charity’s modest budget, above-the-line work has been
restricted to tactical advertising and much of its fund-raising has been
built around the annual Daffodil Day collection.
Don Riesett, the Doner Cardwell chairman, said: ‘We respect Marie
Curie’s wish to reassess the way it markets itself, but we hope to
continue working with it.’