7 April 2014 - 4:15pm | posted by | 8 comments

Fuck the Poor, says new shock campaign from The Pilion Trust urging public to care

A social experiment carried out by The Pilion Trust found that the public will tell someone off for saying ‘fuck the poor’, but are unlikely to stop to help the very same group.

Created by Publicis, the campaign saw a man wearing a billboard saying ‘fuck the poor’ on the streets of London, and being told off by multiple passersby.

Creative Review: 

However, when he flipped the sign over to read ‘help the poor, no-one stopped to give money. This is promoted through the campaign strapline: “We know you care. Please care enough to give.”

Savvas Panas, the chief executive of the Pilion Trust, said: “As a charity we have been severely affected by the nationwide decrease in charitable donations (20 per cent) and government cuts (60 per cent). We understand that some may be shocked by this footage. We are more offended however, that people across the United Kingdom are living in adverse poverty."

The campaign footage is being unveiled on YouTube today, and will be in cinemas from later this month.

Publicis ECD Andy Bird said: “The Pilion Trust is a small front line charity without the budget to make itself heard in paid-for media, and also loses out on High Street donations, so we helped them to make a film that highlighted the discrepancy between peoples attitude when confronted with injustice and bigotry about poverty, and then their apathy when asked directly to help do something about it - donate.”


7 Apr 2014 - 18:22
linda91582's picture

Problem is, we can't be sure where money we might give goes. I've been conned many times by 'homeless' who weren't! Seen food banks and benefits abused etc. Whereas the public, for example, were very generous donating to little girl who needed surgery denied her by the Nhs. So don't say 'we don't care.' We do. Just don't like being mugged.

7 Apr 2014 - 18:27
linda91582's picture

Problem is, we can't be sure where money we might give goes. I've been conned many times by 'homeless' who weren't! Seen food banks and benefits abused etc. Whereas the public are very generous for example, donating for little girl who needed surgery denied her by the NHS. So don't say, 'we don't care' as we often do care. Just don't like being mugged.

8 Apr 2014 - 07:10
Amand73325's picture

I do give to the poor and think it's really important to support those who are struggling but certainly wouldn't be giving to a charity that opted for these tactics. This could reinforce the message that we shouldn't help the poor. Feels a but like Publicis designed this for more personal PR rather than for the benefit of their clients!

10 Apr 2014 - 19:05
warfa19214's picture

Amanda, this is actually a completely ethical and valid experiment. The simple fact is that your dislike for this "Tactic" as you call it is that it brings to light a rather displeasing point about humans and what we will do in a particular situation. It reveals that we as humans are quick to pass judgment upon others because judgement costs us nothing. Words are just words (this excludes situations where an opinion could change our favor with others, such as for politicians). However, when it comes to giving aid for the same issue, we are hesitant because it then costs us personally. Its not a dishonest campaign. It does not lie about anything. as the offensiveness of it was the point of the experiment, it is justified. And i don't even understand why anyone is bringing up whether the ad was PR or not for the company that helped the charity make the footage. Calling it PR doesn't change what the experiment proved, make the point any less important, or invalidate anything.

Furthermore, why are you offended by a charity that uses this? Is it because they are throwing in your face the fact that people would probably not help? because it makes you face an uncomfortable truth? Feeling emotionally blackmailed? Maybe you would prefer they just plainly ask you for money, so that they don't throw those pesky truths and facts at you.@Amand73325

8 Apr 2014 - 12:41
Batty Riph-Raph's picture

Thought provoking, but a PR stunt for sure...

8 Apr 2014 - 17:00
tommy19117's picture

It was done to try to wake the sheeple up IMO, The words on that a board " fuck the poor" is what this current government have done with their welfare reforms , It's why so many are in poverty today,

8 Apr 2014 - 17:08
linda91582's picture

I just saw it as a social experiment to guage public reactions? People were indignant seeing the F*** the Poor sign, but when it reversed and said Help the Poor, there wasn't as much input. ie, not many gave. Understandable for reasons I gave before. Most of us like to know our money is going to bona fide causes.

27 Nov 2014 - 06:35
kameelvohra's picture

As a marketing campaign or PR tactic it seems to have been highly effective - especially considering the number of articles written, and coverage this received.

Whilst perhaps difficult to measure, I'm sure that some of that publicity would ultimately translate to donations. At a minimum, it'll make a few people think twice before skipping the charity box.


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