Thursday, 31 March 2011

Don't look at us, Guv!

    I've received a reply to my Peter Kay letter from the enquiries assistant at Comic Relief.
Thank you for getting in touch with us. Comic Relief believes in the power of entertainment to communicate serious messages and raise as much money as possible to help vulnerable people here in the UK and in Africa. Entertainers, comedians and professionals donate their time and talent to create a one off programme for Red Nose Day and we are extremely grateful for their support. The Night of TV is a light hearted and entertaining programme which does not aim to offend but we are sorry if you are unhappy about anything you saw.

  Comic Relief the charity does not make the Red Nose Day night of TV show so if you have any further questions or comments specifically about the broadcast the BBC is in a better position to answer them. Once again please accept our apology.
    If I may paraphrase it:
We believe anything goes, so long as it raises money for us

We have nothing to do with any of the stuff you see on TV with our logo and brand association plastered all over it. Go away and complain to someone else. Oh, and sorry.  
    I have to admit to being disappointed with this response. Since I didn't mention the BBC Comic Relief night of TV at all, instead talking about the record released by Kay and Boyle, I can only conclude she didn't bother to read my mail. Fair enough I guess, I do use long words. But I'm surprised at their lack of concern for their brand reputation. People like Kay are in effect brand licencees, they're not working for Comic Relief but they are trading on their brand. Thus the Comic Relief brand is a hostage to the licencees handling of it and it's up to them to keep an eye on that.
     I work for a global business whose branding and product is as widely known as Comic Relief's, if not more so internationally. Our product is licenced to many external companies, and I know damn well that if one of them brought our brand into disrepute my chief executive would raise one hell of a fuss, and sharpish! Hence my shock at Comic Relief's apparent lack of care for their brand.
    Still, if nothing is too offensive to make money for them and they don't care about the brand I guess they wouldn't be bothered next year if someone did a blackface show for them, after all it's all for charity! Just better not make it a stammering blackface show.
    I'm not sure whether to reply, or whether it would be a wasted effort.


  1. Unfortunately it's about what I expected...

    I would say though that the song / video didn't bother me that much (maybe I wasn't paying enough attention?). The Loose Women appearance though was just plain annoying...

    Lovely comment from Richard Curtis though

    Comic Relief does spend money on bullying

    I'm sure the word "combating" should have appeard womewhere in that sentence :)


  2. You won't be surprised then Jenny when I tell you I received exactly the same reply when I responded by clicking the link you posted. It just shows how little they really do care about people. They are more interested in the popularity and hype of it all. Personally I do not subscribe to such events, my giving is done in secret, my reward will be elsewhere. Love

    Shirley Anne xxx

  3. I don't enjoy the conspicuous bit either. Being seen to be giving is more important than giving itself, and that's crazy.

    I probably won't reply. Shame really, but I think I'll be wasting my time.