On Agency

Core disciplines: Advertising/Creative, CRM/Customer engagement



Freedom from Torture is a small charity, so GDPR posed a massive threat. They couldn’t afford to lose any supporters to the new data protection laws. No, they needed as many people as possible to say: ‘I’m not going anywhere. You can stay in touch with me.’








GDPR – four letters that make employees in organisations across the UK shudder. On 25 May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulations come into play. That means charities and companies need permission to contact every single person on their databases by that date. No permission, no contact. Simple.

Every supporter and every penny counts for Freedom from Torture. Especially when they can only help 1 in 3 torture survivors due to lack of funds. We needed to come up with a campaign that would resonate with the audience. We also needed instant cut-through and rapid action from the charity’s supporters.


Our Approach

We wanted to send out a minimum of three communications before the GDPR deadline, so we got to work straight away. We came up with a bold, fearless, integrated campaign. Through direct mail, phone, email, social media and a website takeover, we called on supporters to stick with Freedom from Torture.

Our message was simple: DON’T DISAPPEAR. This linked the donor and beneficiary in a powerful and direct way. Rooted in insight from focus groups, we were also clear to state that the LAW IS CHANGING. This gave us credibility, objectivity and urgency.

In DM, we led with a stark, typographic call to action, using a black rectangular holding deice that evoked imagery of censorship and state oppression. It stood out on people’s doormats, in a large legal-sized envelope. Online, the radical simplicity of our messaging got cut-through.

Nobody expected results this good

The stakes were high, but the results were outstanding. The phase 1 mailing wasn’t even sent to the warmest supporters, yet we still achieved a 24.82% response rate. Amazing! And it just gets better. Our phase 2 mailing is smashing all expectations too. 


"We love working with On agency. We asked them to create a GDPR campaign that was warm, passionate and completely donor centric and they just got it. Their deep and well researched knowledge of GDPR  meant we could explore so many angles and ideas for the campaign and their excitement about data protection changes was impressive! In the end we’ve had great results and have achieved exactly what we wanted – a campaign that emphasises the value and importance of our donors compassion and willingness to support a cause that many people don’t even know still happens, so donors are happily opting in positively to reaffirm their commitment". Charlotte Hodson, Freedom from Torture.

“A compelling appeal to stay in contact with @FreedomfromTorture post GDPR. I’m in!” 

Peter Lewis, CEO Institute of Fundraising

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