YouGov’s CharityIndex measured the public's perception of ChildLine and NSPCC over the past six months.
This month’s Brand Spotlight looks at the impact of the Jimmy Savile scandal on NSPCC and ChildLine since the revelations appeared in October. While technically NSPCC and ChildLine are interlinked – the former took over operational responsibility for the latter in 2006 – we will treat each as distinct entities.
Both the NSPCC and ChildLine were involved in the aftermath of the revelations, with contrasting fortunes. The NSPCC worked closely with the police to compile evidence and the report into Savile's offences.
ChildLine was prominent for another reason. The charity has always encouraged children to contact it to report abuse, but its founder, Esther Rantzen, admitted in the ITV programme that she failed to report concerns about Savile's behaviour. She admitted she feared for the organisation's reputation.
CharityIndex figures show she was right to be concerned. Buzz scores for both charities – measuring whether people had heard something positive or negative about a brand – show they went in different directions. There was an immediate and negative impact for ChildLine, while the NSPCC's role in helping victims led to a more subtle improvement in score.
The furore over Esther Rantzen in the aftermath of the ITV programme exposed the problems that can happen if anything negative happens to organisation’s figurehead. But the Savile scandal also showed ChildLine’s strength as a distinct entity. It is a positive for both brands that people view the two charities as separate organisations.
This is an abridged version of a longer piece written exclusively for Third Sector. The full blog can be read on the Third Sector website