YMCA England is staging a celebrity sleep-out tonight to coincide with its first direct response television campaign, highlighting youth homelessness.
London mayoral candidate Simon Hughes MP, Libertines singer Pete Doherty, and socialite Tamara Beckwith will receive advice on where to sleep from four previously homeless young people. Meanwhile, the four will learn about jobs at London's five-star Landmark Hotel, before spending the night in its luxury rooms.
Catherine Lawson, the charity's direct marketing manager, hopes the celebrity sleep-out will attract media attention to raise awareness of the DRTV ad.
The charity is spending £50,000 to run the ad on Channel Five and 22 satellite and cable channels throughout December, and hopes to recruit 600 new committed givers.
Created by WWAV Rapp Collins, the 90-second ad shows how a call to YMCA can help rough sleepers, like the 17 year-old girl on-screen, to make friends and receive shelter and training. A voice-over illustrates the depth of the problem by stating that YMCA provides 7,000 beds to homeless people every night.