Campaigns: Voluntary Sector - Old bags raise cash for Cancer Research

Campaign: Handbag Amnesty 2009
Client: and Cancer Research UK
PR team: In-house
Budget: £11,000
Timescale: September-October 2009

Handbag Amnesty raised funds for Cancer Research UK by encouraging readers and celebrities to donate handbags to be sold in charity shops and auctioned on eBay.


- To raise the profile of

- To highlight the relationship between and Cancer Research UK

- To raise money via the auction.

Strategy and plan

Twenty-two celebrities were persuaded to donate handbags from their personal collections. Tamara Ecclestone offered her time to help the campaign secure pieces in the Daily Mail and on Mail Online. A case study of a woman who had beaten breast cancer was used to generate regional coverage. Competitions were secured with fashion bloggers, who acted as online brand ambassadors encouraging users to spread the word in order to be entered into a competition to win a designer handbag.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign secured 97 pieces of coverage across national, regional, online and trade media, and 95 per cent of coverage included the campaign website address.


The campaign raised £252,577 for Cancer Research UK. In the eBay auction, a white Chanel handbag donated by Nancy Dell'Olio sold for more than £500. More than 7,000 handbags were donated by the public.

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