In a recent analysis of over a hundred direct response ads, inserts and mailshots from charities thirteen invited responses to 0845 or similar numbers. Yet in only one case was there any indication of the cost of calling. Isn’t is somewhat dodgy practice – given that there is much public confusion about “free” numbers “local rate” numbers and “premium rate” numbers? Surely charities, of all organisations, ought to be transparent in such matters.
Conversely, not one of the eighteen who used an 0800 number even mentioned the magic word “FREE.”
Strange old world!
Right on both counts – it’s probably largely a case of not thinking about it (illustrated beautifully by the failure to highlight the benefits of 0800!). There may also be an element of trying to get the most words into the available space.
However, DR ads are presumably produced by agencies, who would, one hopes, be on the ball about such things.
AHA – A Gloucester Old Spot just flew past my window!
Gerry Beldon FInstF
Director, 26-01 CIC
Yes, you’d have thought there would be a standard text to include with 0845 numbers indicating the costs of calling such a number, even if the text promoted the income generating element of the call that benefits the charity.
(Disclosure/mea culpa: UK Fundraising’s advertising sales agency uses an 0845 number which I mention on the website and in emails without mentioning the costs. I’ll see if I can add some text).
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