An attempt to raise diabetes awareness has gone wrong for leading charity Diabetes UK, who were ruled to be in breach of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) code.
The Fundraising Standards Board is the independent self-regulator for charity fundraising in the UK. Their review into a Diabetes UK advertising campaign found four breaches of their Code of Fundraising Practise: misleading contacts, not clearly allowing individuals to opt out, not processing personal data fairly and lawfully and disguising marketing calls as administrative process.
The awareness campaign from Diabetes UK – which is in no way affiliated with – encouraged individuals to text in to receive a free pedometer and diabetes guide.
A member of the public complained after she received a phone call from Listen Ltd, a telephone fundraising agency, upon texting Diabetes UK. The phone call discussed the delivery of the pedometer and to request a regular donation of £10 a month.
Andrew Hind, chair of the FRSB, said: “Diabetes UK’s pedometer campaign was not solely designed to assist the public by raising awareness of diabetes. It also had a clear motive to solicit contact details for a subsequent fundraising approach to those who responded. As a result, we have concluded that the charity’s campaign misled the public.”
A statement from Diabetes UK said: “The FRSB has now completed its investigation and concluded we were in breach of its code because the adverts did not make it sufficiently clear that people who responded would be asked, once we had recorded their address details for mailing the guide and pedometer, if they wished to make a financial contribution to our work.
“We believe there was a lot that was good about this advertising campaign. As well as getting tens of thousands of people to think about their risk of type 2 diabetes and to use the pedometer to gauge their level of exercise, it has resulted in many new donors who are now helping us to make a positive difference to the lives of people with diabetes.”
Saturday 14 November is World Diabetes Day, and there will be several diabetes awareness initiatives launched all around the world.

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