The RSPCA has hit back at an insert campaign by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that asks Scottish donors not to give to the RSPCA.
The insert, which states "Don't give money to the RSPCA (If you want to help Scotland's animals)", aims to inform Scottish donors that the RSPCA doesn't operate in Scotland and prevent them from giving to the RSPCA by mistake.
The design, one of a number of test images created by WWAV Rapp Collins Scotland, appeared in the Scottish press during August. However, the RSPCA has criticised the campaign, saying it is likely to have a negative impact.
"We have written to the SSPCA to say we are unhappy with its approach," said RSPCA spokeswoman Lucy Harding. "We felt it was very negative and would have preferred it if it had run a positive message about itself rather than a negative one about the RSPCA - we are, after all, two charities working together for the same aim, and we sincerely hope they will reconsider their strategy."
But the Scottish body insists that it needs to draw a distinction between the two charities to avoid confusion among donors.
"In a recent survey we asked donors if they had ever given to the RSPCA by mistake, and 89 per cent had," said Diana Allen, communications and marketing director at SSPCA. "In the past, we have asked the RSPCA to help us by making it clear on its material that they do not work in Scotland. So far it has felt unable to do so, yet we do work together very well on other issues."
SSPCA has contacted the RSPCA explaining complaints from members and donors had prompted it to run the campaign. "We don't expect any further problems because we are not trying to undermine or criticise the RSPCA, simply to make the distinction clear so that donors can make a real choice," said Allen.