|25 Oct 2010||5:30pm - 7:00pm||CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge|
In 2008 the Advertising Standards Authority received over 500 complaints about a Barnardo’s ad featuring a girl being hit repeatedly in the head. The ASA declined to censure the organization, recognising that charity ads depicting children’s pain and suffering are vital in charities’ efforts to publicise their work and generate donations. Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, charity appeals overwhelmingly featured children — with substantial results. The Disasters Emergency Committee raised over £94 million by April 2010 in a campaign personified online by an injured Haitian child. Where do we draw the line between exposing a need and exploiting those who need? How does charity advertising make us feel sympathy, pity, solidarity or even guilt, and why does this work? How far is too far in depicting pain and suffering “for a good cause”, especially that of children? What turns the public on to donating — and what turns them off?