Cancer Research hires ex-BBC chief to lead fundraising

almond2Cancer Research UK has recruited former BBC chief marketing officer Philip Almond to lead the charity’s fundraising, succeeding Ed Aspel who is retiring at the end of this month.

Almond, who will take up the role of executive director of fundraising and marketing in December, is currently working as marketing consultant. He spent six years as the BBC’s chief marketing officer, during which time he co-led the myBBC data initiative. Almond is also a big advocate of in-housing, having founded the in-house BBC Creative department.

Prior to that, Almond worked at drinks giant Diageo for 17 years as global brand director and chief marketing officer.

Aspel has been fundraising chief for four years, having joined the charity in 2010 as head of innovation delivery.

He was also instrumental in committing CRUK to using only opt-in data for all of its fundraising activity, including direct mail. The policy means that the charity is only able to contact supporters if they have given unambiguous and explicit permission.

At the time, Aspel said: “We’re doing this because we think there’s a long-term gain to be had by doing the right thing by supporters and respecting their wishes. If they’re going to opt in and hear from us on their own terms, then we’ve got to give them a reason to opt out – and that’s about better relationships.”

RNLI, which was the first charity to embrace opt-in only, recently reverted to using “legitimate interests”.

Cancer Research UK’s main advertising account is handled by Anomaly London. Its most recent activity used mock packaging from old cigarette brands to warn people about the link between obesity and cancer. However, the charity also has long-running campaigns, including Race for Life and Stand up to Cancer.

Commenting on his new role, Almond said: “Fundraising underpins everything the charity achieves, and it will be a huge privilege to head one of the most successful teams in the sector. The charity is very close to my heart, and I’m looking forward to working with so many inspiring people who are equally passionate about the cause.”

CRUK chief executive Michelle Mitchell added: “Philip’s wealth of marketing experience will help us to continue to keep our supporters at the heart of everything we do and ultimately help us beat cancer sooner.”

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