Donate Wales december

Wales leads the way with revolutionary organ donation law

Wales has become the first country in the UK to introduce a revolutionary system to increase the number of organ donations by 25%.

From today (1 December), there will be a system of presumed consent, where adults will be regarded as having consented to organ donation unless they have opted out.

It is hoped that the change in the law will help to save the lives of those waiting for an organ donation. In 2014/15, 14 people in Wales died while waiting for a transplant, and there are currently 224 people on the Welsh transplant waiting list, including eight children.

Working closely with client, Donate Wales, Freshwater played a part in helping to pave the way for this new law to be introduced by running an award-winning campaign, encouraging people to join the organ donor register.

The campaign was run over two different phases over a nine-month period in 2010. During the course of the year, over 60,000 joined the organ donation register – an increase of more than half (20,000) compared to the previous year.  A sustained high profile debate on opt-out led to the government, in July 2010, announcing it would introduce opt-out organ donation.

The campaign included:

  • Advertising – a case study-led TV and radio advert, built around the concept of a transplant patient who linked waiting for a transplant to being on “an invisible death row”, using real people on the organ donation waiting list to deliver key messages. This was the first time that real people on the waiting list, as opposed to actors, were used, for the adverts and campaign collateral. This gave the campaign authenticity and additional PR value.
  • Public relations – the New Year activity encouraged people to make a resolution to save a life by joining the organ donor register. This included a case study-led media relations and direct mail campaign with an emailer sent to a database of 43,000 18-35 year olds in Wales featuring key messages and a link to the Donate Wales website.
  • Social media blogs and messaging involved Facebook and Twitter users ‘donating their status’.
  • A refreshed Donate Wales website to reflect the ‘death row’ creative concept.
  • Bluetooth – a proximity campaign in Cardiff city centre encouraged people to join the organ donor register from their mobile phones, integrated with Millennium Stadium advertising.
  • Stakeholder engagement – campaign packs were sent to pharmacies and other organ charities encouraging them to promote the campaign and join in on social media activity.

Mitchell Gadd, Freshwater’s account director who worked on the campaign, said: “Today is a landmark day for Wales, and we are pleased to have played a part in the early stages of the campaign by helping to raise awareness about the need for more people to sign up to the organ donation register.

“The campaign’s overall success was achieved by integrating all components of the campaign seamlessly. All elements worked in synergy, with key messages remaining consistent but expressed through different mediums.

“It’s humbling to think that we played a small part in helping to bring about today’s ground-breaking change which will help to save lives across Wales.”

To see the TV advert - CLICK HERE

To see the social media case study - CLICK HERE


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Impact Report 2017

Impact report 2017