BT will run BBC Children in Need’s phone lines this year on 16 November and its actions will be under close scrutiny. The appeal is the first telethon since the news broke that charity appeals Comic Relief, Sport Relief and Children in Need had faked competition winners.
Trimedia Harrison Cowley divisional director Justin McKeown was optimistic the event would run smoothly. He said: ‘BT is committed to the Children in Need Appeal. The charity has not been accused of any wrongdoing and we have no issue with its commitment to openness and integrity.’
He predicted the charity’s work would ‘outlive this year’s storms’.
But the plethora of stories about the phone-in competitions has dented public confidence in charities, with a recent poll commissioned by PRWeek finding 44 per cent of those polled were less likely to donate money to broadcasting charity appeals.
This year the charity will use a revised slogan, which the Charity Commission has praised for being more transparent about how it spends donations. Last year, the charity’s slogan was criticised by donor information website Intelligent Giving as misleading.