Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al UK: press ads that shook a nation

Exhibited by
May 22, 2008
Medium of Communication
Press advertising
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Children, youth and family
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

These ads changed the political shape of Britain, raised social consciousness generally as well as concerns for human rights in particular. I read one of them at the time and joined Amnesty directly as a result (it was the ad that takes a pop at Margaret Thatcher). Once again, Indra Sinha shows that he is the master of long copy fundraising ads. The art director on all these ads was the award-winning Neil Godfrey, Indra’s much respected colleague from CDP days. The pair still work together from time to time, with predictably brilliant results.

Click here and here to see the latest ad SOFII has unearthed from the Amnesty archives. It may shock you, it will impress you.

Creator / originator

Indra Sinha and Neil Godfrey.

Summary / objectives

This exhibit is currently homeless and is put up by SOFII because we believe that every fundraiser wherever he or she works should be familiar with these ads and what they achieved. Although from a generation ago, it would be a tragedy if these ads were not available to today’s fundraisers. This is why SOFII exists.

If you can help us to locate any background on these ads, please get in touch. See comment below for proof that the system works.


We don't have much information on this at present but the following comment from a SOFII reader is rather helpful in setting the scene within Amnesty at the time these ads appeared.

‘I was fundraising at the Irish Section of Amnesty at the time - we had great success in adapting the UK ads for Irish broadsheets - doubling our membership from one campaign alone in one year. The response rates and ROI we used to get was phenomenal - 500 per cent ROI in one case - most fundraisers would kill for direct response rates like that nowadays.’—Bruce Clark, Income Generation Manager, Skillshare International Ireland


They show better than almost any other campaign the fundraiser’s potential to change the world.

Other relevant information

Click here to see two more advertisements from this series, added later by the fundraiser who commissioned them. And click here to see another shockingly dramatic ad that, at the time, broke all established rules and shook its readers into action.