FUNDRAISING NEWS: Animal group stands by adverts

An animal welfare charity is defending its use of hard-hitting images by launching a cold recruitment campaign featuring dead animals.

The Scottish SPCA, together with its appointed agency WWAV Rapp Collins Scotland, has decided to reuse the images it created for a campaign earlier in the year after post-campaign research showed that images of animal cruelty trigger a strong response among potential donors.

Three creative executions were tested in a loose insert campaign in March - two of which depicted victims of animal cruelty and one showing a puppy being rescued. The cruelty inserts outperformed the puppy by 20 per cent.

SPCA has seen a 10 per cent growth in donors over the past year since the campaign started.

The new mail packs, which will use the same "unapologetic" images, will be sent to a database of 100,000 potential donors as part of the Scottish SPCA's ongoing recruitment campaign.

"In a cold recruitment environment, it is key to create impact to grab attention over other competing advertising messages," said Gus Chalmers, senior account director at WWAV Scotland.

"Even if some people find this approach contentious, as long as it delivers enhanced results, we'll carry on using it."

A second mail pack is being sent to 15,000 existing donors to raise awareness of the work conducted by the charity.

The warm mail pack details a day in the life of Scottish SPCA inspector Hamish Mackintosh including photos of cases he has dealt with, from a fawn being rescued to a pending court case over the gross neglect of a pet dog.

"Our past experience has shown that revealing the truth about animal cruelty is a very effective way of reaching new supporters," said Chalmers.

The charity is hitting back at comments made by Angela Walledge, managing director of The Walledge Agency, whose clients include Battersea Dogs Home, stating animal lovers do not want to see such images.

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