Another Something Different: Adds

Something that is starting to really get on my nerves, especially when watching Sky Sports in particular, is bloody adverts by Cancer Research.

Now don’t get me wrong, cancer is a horrible illness that devastates families, I know, my father passed away as a result of cancer in the early 1990’s. However, recently it feels like every time I put the news on or watch sports every commercial break has a cancer advertisement. I don’t mind the occasional advert for charity but when it is all the time, employing the shock approach or the heartstrings approach, it is really annoying. Like when I had the Shelter guy at the door a few weeks ago and I advised him that I will never donate to a charity that does door knocking, not through lack of compassion, I worked in homelessness for 7 years, but because the hard sell and the guilt trip gets right on my nerves and it turns me off.

I know that charities struggle without our help, but their methods do not foster a sense of goodwill with sales techniques that are as bad as walking into a mobile phone shop. When you have a charitable hospital in London paying its Chief Exec nearly a million pounds per year and the average salary in the third sector for a Chief Exec being £217,000 per year my sympathy wanes even more. It’s not just me that appears to be getting annoyed with this intrusion, just look online and you will find cancer survivors saying they hate them, former homeless people asking for the homeless ads to stop because they generate frustration in people. When many in this country are relying on food banks and have zero disposable income adding a big dollop of guilt won’t make them feel any better.

I don’t know what the answer is for charities to raise money in an appropriate way but I know that every time I see a Cancer Research advertisement or have Shelter at my door, I am even more inclined to never donate to them than I was before.



    • Anonymous


      I know they have to raise money but there has to be a better way. Charities are starting to feel like Housing Associations now, jobs that pay huge sums to those at the top and minimum wage or zero to those at the bottom with less and less money going to the cause. It is really starting to annoy me now. The hard sell turns people off and I find it really intrusive. I don’t watch a lot of tv but when I do these adds just depress me.

      Thanks for commenting.


  1. andimac

    I contribute regularly to several charities by direct debit. it was my choice to support them and I’m happy to continue doing so. At Christmas, my wife and I pick two or three charities whose work we admire and send them cheques. I’m sure many people contribute in similar ways. However, while I don’t watch Sky Sports – or pretty much any sports – like yourself, I’m sick to the back teeth of continual pleas from charities. I know they have to raise money and I do have some sympathy with them: it can’t be easy in these cash-strapped times persuading people to give dosh to charities. Sometimes, though, I feel it’s out of control. Just last week on one day I received 6 items of post, 4 of which were from charities. I often get serial requests from the same charities almost as if they think if they write often enough, I’ll give in and send some money. Most of these requests are accompanied by heartrending stories from cancer sufferers, parents with terminally-ill kids, etc. As you say, the guilt trip. Of course, I’m truly sorry for the unfortunate and their loved ones but I can’t help everybody, or every cause. I sometimes wonder, too, if these appeals are targeted at particular areas or postcodes. I also wonder how much money some charities are spending on their “fundraising” efforts and whether that expenditure represents a reasonable one in light of the funds raised. And don’t get me started on the ones that come accompanied by pictures of starving dogs, blinded cats and ulcer-covered donkeys – I think cruelty to any animal is abominable but, once again, it’s the foisted guilt trip. And why do we need so many charities seemingly pursuing the same/similar research/work? We also seem to have new charities set up every time someone loses a child/parent/sibling/friend to some disease or ailment: it’s almost like a type of memorial activity. Sorry, if this reads like a rant but I do actually think that the level of importuning by some charities is likely to be counter-productive for not only themselves but perhaps for all. So, what’s the answer? Who knows, but maybe some of the work being done by charities should be funded (even partly) from taxation or government funds.

  2. Anonymous


    We give to our Church by direct debit and offering so I tend to not give to charity consistently more ad hoc. I did read yesterday online that the Charity Commission are aiming for 65% of all donations going to the cause but that doesn’t seem that high to me. I also worry that the door knocking is targeting the elderly and most vulnerable. I do know of people who signed up then had to get cab to help them get out of it as they just didn’t have the skills to say no. There has to be a better way I think. Like you I also have a lot of sympathy for those who are ill and in need, I know how tough it can from personal experience but charities I think should not be using the methods they are using, in my opinion anyway. I only got Sky Sports eye tly having cancelled last year but they have given to me for £7.00 a month, they must be desperate.

    Thanks for commenting.


  3. anonymous

    It’s an industry pure and simple and it pays the wages of an awful lot of people working in it. Somewhere along the line after everyone’s been paid their due, a percentage gets to the people it’s supposed to be for.

    The chief execs I’ve met have generally strutted around, lording it over their staff like little gods. Some have even worked little fiddles. I know of one who negotiated a personal bonus with his management board as a percentage of the money he would save the organisation through efficiency savings. He then proceeded to cut his staff down to minimum wage and he had himself a nice little earner.

    There are no doubt good ones out there, I just haven’t met any yet. Trouble is they do help folk and if you don’t give, they get nothing.

    • Anonymous


      I appreciate what you are saying, maybe more regulation including members of the public would help. I know I don’t like how they do things just now and there are good ones out there being spoilt by the greed and methods of some within the organisations.

      Thanks for commenting.


  4. Thomas brotherston

    Let the admirals and general organise flag days and coffee mornings to raise money for Trident and we’ll use the money saved on Trident to properly fund ALL charities. Any charity is an expression of desperation at the failure of governments of all colours to get their priorities right.

    • Anonymous


      Now that is a good idea. I think more regulation is needed though, I just don’t trust them to do it themselves.

      Thanks for commenting.


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