Text Mix-Up for Unicef & Cancer Research

The importance of creating a clear call to action…

The latest nominating craze to take over your Facebook homepage is the ‘no make-up selfie’ which has raised more than £1m through text donations to Cancer Research. Whilst this is a fantastic way of raising awareness (and money) for a really worthwhile cause; there have been a few hiccups which highlight the need for a clear call to action. 

Chinese whispers

Somewhere along the way, the SMS keyword got changed from BEAT to DONATE, meaning the generous donations were being sent to children’s charity, Unicef, instead of Cancer Research. Don’t worry, both charities have come to an agreement to ensure all of the donations are allocated where intended, but this wasn’t the only hiccup… 

Damn auto-correct

Not only were people accidentally donating to Unicef when the shortcode and keywords got muddled, but some also found themselves enquiring about adopting a polar bear! The World Wildlife Fund saw an increase in people texting BEAR to 70007 when their phones automatically corrected BEAT to BEAR.


Although this caused a bit of alarm to some donators; WWF assured them that no money was taken and quickly changed their auto-reply to let them know of their mistake.

Whilst these errors were rectified quickly (and no harm was done) the social media campaign has worked wonders for Cancer Research. It has, however, demonstrated the importance of being clear with your call to action and choosing a really simple keyword. With auto-correct in most phones now; it’s also a good idea to consider this carefully choosing your keyword.

The FireText team have had fun applying/removing make-up and made their donation to Cancer Research. You can read more about how to donate correctly to Cancer Research here.


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