FUNDRAISING NEWS: MS charity secures Kermit and friends for badge appeal

The Multiple Sclerosis Society has signed a two-year deal to use the Muppets for a pin-badge appeal and other fundraising projects.

The badge campaign, which starts next January, will initially see 100,000 rubber pin-badges sold in high street outlets for a suggested donation of £1.

The society is trying to secure a retail partner to launch the appeal and is hoping to enlist other retailers as stockists. It will also sell the badges through its 372 volunteer group branches.

Shane Hickey, head of community fundraising at the charity, believes the deal with the Jim Henson Company has huge potential. "The excellent thing is that the Muppets brand has been established for 25 years," he said. "It is readily understood and welcomed by the public."

Other campaigns will be launched as they are approved by the Jim Henson Company. The characters are expected to front a campaign for MS Week next April.

Hickey said: "They could appear in on-pack promotions or be used as fun direct mail incentives."

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