Google heeds Red Cross link warning

Google has removed a link to the Burma funds of two US charities from its UK home page after a request from the British Red Cross.

The Red Cross asked the internet search giant to replace the link with one to the Disasters Emergency Committee so that UK donations could go to British charities and benefit from Gift Aid.

Google removed the link on Monday, but had not replaced it with a DEC link when Third Sector went to press.

Mark Astarita, director of fundraising at the British Red Cross, worked with colleagues at the US Red Cross to put together the request to Google.

"People would have gone to that site first and just donated there instead of finding a British appeal," he said. "We were undoubtedly losing thousands of pounds."

Google, which has pledged to match the first $1m received by the two US charities in Burma appeal donations, was unable to say why the link was removed.

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