Business Charity Awards: Charity Partnership, Fashion & Retail – Asda with Breast Cancer Now for Asda Tickled Pink

For an outstanding partnership between a company in the fashion or retail sectors and a UK charity

What was the partnership?

The 24-year Tickled Pink partnership between Asda and Breast Cancer Now has the bold ambition of making a tangible long-term difference to early diagnosis rates in breast cancer in the UK. The partnership uses its scale, reach and channels to influence breast-check behaviour and draw on the power of colleagues, customers and suppliers to raise £4.6m a year to fund research, care and support services.

What did it do?

Providing relevant and accessible information is an essential pillar of the partnership’s breast-awareness programme. The partnership provides bespoke information and materials in store and online for costumers and colleagues on a year-round basis, and regularly develops targeted and disruptive campaigns to engage harder-to-reach and at-risk groups, as well as the partnership’s wider community. In addition, Tickled Pink directly funds £3.5m a year towards Breast Cancer Now research each year, and £700,000 towards breast cancer support and awareness programmes.

Why did it win?

In 2019, a record 90 Asda products engaged with the Tickled Pink campaign, not only turning products pink but including breast-awareness information on packs and raising £2.7m for Breast Cancer Now. The retailer also ran an in-store guerilla-style campaign, using tongue-in-cheek messaging to encourage breast-checking awarenes on own-label items such as melons and baps.

But engagement goes well beyond products: last year the partnership delivered two major pieces of research exploring the barriers to breast awareness for both mass and harder-to-reach audiences. And anecdotal evidence shows the partnership is saving lives, with a number of Asda colleagues and customers reporting that they have received breast cancer diagnoses after engaging with the campaigns that encouraged them to check their breasts.

What did the judges say?

This was a favourite application for Gill Perkins, chief executive of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, who particularly noted the partnership’s commitment to reaching hard-to-reach groups. “This is a very long-term partnership so the impact and achievements are high, but I like the innovation,” she said. “They have maintained the enthusiasm of staff and have really made a difference to early diagnosis.”


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