BBC reveal donationBBC reveals Children in Need donation

09 November 2005

The BBC has agreed to be clearer about the GBP 2 it's donating to Children in Need out of the GBP 12.50 price of special charity egg cups, following intervention from Which?.

A reader contacted us after discovering that just GBP 2 from the sale of each cup was going to the charity. She was shocked by the figure and asked us to investigate.

The BBC website is promoting three charity egg cups, which are moulded to look like Radio 4 Today programme presenters John Humphrys, Sarah Montague and Jim Naughtie. But while the BBC says it was stating the amount going to charity on air, the public section of its website failed to give the figure.

The Charity Commission told Which? that fundraisers promoting such items must accompany any statement that money is going to charity with the amount of the donation.

Oversight

We asked the BBC why the online promotion didn't give the figure. It said this was an 'oversight' and immediately added it. We also asked for a cost breakdown; about GBP 8 went to the egg cup manufacturer, Bairstow Manor Pottery , about GBP 2 was postage and packing, at 'at least' GBP 2 went to Children in Need.

Which? reader Maura O'Neill, from London, who complained to us about the size of the donation, said: 'It's hardly worth the while of the charity if it's only getting GBP 2 from GBP 12.50. The BBC is giving to charity the same amount it's spending on delivery. I would never buy one of these egg cups. I'd rather give the money straight to charity.'

The BBC said it couldn't be specific about costs because they varied depending on whether people bought one cup or several. It said it made no profit, and the cups were bought at cost. A spokeswoman added that Children in Need considered the amount 'reasonable' and was pleased to be raising awareness among Radio 4 listeners.

Children in Need appeal day is 18 November. There are other ways to donate, which are detailed on the Children in Need website.