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Charity rapped for misleading on funds

LONDON - A direct mail campaign for a children's charity has been censured for misleading the public about how the funds raised were spent.

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The campaign, for the Children's Survival Fund International, involved two letters, a leaflet, an eligibility form and a return envelope.

It explained the plight of the children the charity aimed to help and invited recipients to enter a sweepstake, the proceeds from which would go to helping children in need throughout the world.

The Advertising Standards Authority followed up a complaint challenging whether donations sent with entries would be used to benefit disadvantaged children. It asked the charity to provide evidence to support its claims.

The charity provided receipts and documents as evidence of organisations it provided money to, it also said that a portion of the money raised by the campaign would go towards future fund raising initiatives and administration costs.

The advertising watchdog said that as the mailing used the statement "help me feed, clothe and shelter the most desperate refugee children of Africa and Asia", then all monies raised from the mailing should go directly toward help disadvantaged children.

It ruled that the mailing was misleading and asked the charity to ensure that future mailings did not mislead on the subject of how the funds raised would be used.

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