Donors aid Samaritans

Following your article on The Samaritans’ creative agency review (MW June 13) I felt it was important to provide some clarification regarding the campaign budget for the account. The creative agency account is worth about &£300,000 a year, not &£1.6m as stated.

The figure cited is the ratecard equivalent value of free space secured on behalf of The Samaritans by media buying agency, MindShare in 2001. The Samaritans has worked closely with MindShare to develop an increasingly successful free-space placement strategy, the value of which equates to the yearly media buying spend of some large corporations according to MMS Nielson’s figures.

Through MindShare’s hard work and the generosity of media owners who donate space, The Samaritans is able to reach a wide audience via donated print, outdoor and broadcast slots that it would simply not have the resources to target otherwise.

As self-harm and suicide rates are so alarmingly high among young people, putting emotional health high on the mainstream agenda is vital. Above-the-line campaigns play a fundamental role in raising awareness of the charity’s work with all its audiences: callers, donors, opinion formers and its 18,300 volunteers.

However, despite high brand awareness the charity has a relatively small income. Thus, the dedication of MindShare and the media owners who kindly donate space is crucial and their contribution to realising The Samaritans’ vision needs to be highlighted, recognised and applauded.

David Richards

Director of marketing

The Samaritans

Ewell, Surrey

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