NSPCC rescues struggling ChildLine

The NSPCC is to take over children’s charity ChildLine next year, in an effort to rescue the service from “compassion fatigue”.

ChildLine, which entered talks with the larger charity about securing its future after encountering fundraising difficulties, will retain its own identity. It will continue to operate the helpline service it offers to vulnerable children, but will become part of the NSPCC.

Talks between the two bodies have been brokered by the Charity Commission, which has provided legal advice on the merger. It is not yet clear whether the two charities will continue to run independent fundraising operations, but a spokesman says that advertising arrangements will be reviewed.

He suggested that given the NSPCC’s “long-standing” agency arrangements, it was likely that ChildLine’s advertising would be “subsumed” into the NSPCC.

The NSPCC ad account is held by Saatchi & Saatchi, while Zenith Optimedia handles planning and buying.

ChildLine, founded by Esther Rantzen in 1986, said it had suffered recently because of the “challenging and competitive fundraising environment”.

The charity launched a fundraising viral ad earlier this year, because it could not afford to buy television or cinema space (MW August 11).

The execution was produced by Quiet Storm creative team Lee & Dan, free of charge, to raise money for the night service, which was facing the axe.

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