Ad showing diverse lesbian couple and asian baby

David Crosbie, CEO of Community Councils Australia says of commercial television “I’m sometimes buggered if I know what the ads are for”. Values like inclusiveness and diversity have been claimed by the corporates.

Delivering the opening keynote at the Volunteering NSW State Conference, he said that when he “watches an outpouring of really nice images only to find that its an ad for a bank, insurance company or car” he thinks “what’s that got to do with people hugging each other?”

Obviously the strategy advertisers use is to get to our wallets through our feelings, which are tightly bound up with our values. Sadly, on the NFP side of the fence, organisations are often spending more time thinking about how to get money than on projecting their values into the space increasingly inhabited by private corporations.

Further, with money for delivery of services being pushed into bigger but fewer piles, businesses are moving in to compete with charities on a financial basis as well. An NFP’s value is created through its support base. To do this it needs build awareness through writing and other media.

NFPs, he says, should concentrate on their core values, even if that means risking funding. Services will be remembered for sticking their necks out for their clients, not for treating them as KPI units. In the context of declining levels of trust in society, actions, not Superbowl ads, are the way to show what we really value.

CCA releases The Australia We Want report

Benetton's Most Controversial Campaigns

Subscribe to our e-news updates - all the info you need in one place, delivered to your Inbox once a week.