The real cost of headlines about charity re-brands

Today’s Third Sector carries an article about a re-brand of a major UK charity. The headline is:

Institute of Cancer Research launches £187k rebrand

This is not a neutral headline – it’s a ‘Hey did you hear how much a charity supported by little old ladies and schoolkids has spent on crazy designer people?’.

I normally don’t read this kind of article as it makes my blood boil. But today I clicked to read it and my blood boiled at an even higher temperature when I read, buried underneath the insinuation that honest folks’ money has been wasted, the following sentence:

[ICR] provided the first convincing evidence that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer, laying the foundation for the now universally accepted idea that cancer is a genetic disease.

So let’s get this right – it’s a really good charity with proven impact that decided it needed to spend some money on a new logo to raise its profile and attract more donors? Hold that front page….

I look forward to future articles on how much the NSPCC dares to spend on heating its offices, and how much the  Royal British Legion wastes on paying people to answer the phone.

Our sector is held back by assumptions that it’s possible to run cutting-edge organisations without spending a penny on anything other than core costs. And the newspaper that leads coverage of our sector ought to know better than to spread insinuations that reputable charities are wasting donors’ money. Shame on you Third Sector!

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