Marie Curie and Saatchi & Saatchi launch emergency appeal campaign to support nurses caring for the terminally ill

The charity Marie Curie has launched an emergency appeal campaign with work created, at no cost, by Saatchi & Saatchi to raise the donations it needs to fund its vital work caring for terminally ill people during the current crisis.

Marie Curie and Saatchi & Saatchi are appealing to advertisers and media owners to donate media space unused due to Coronavirus for the campaign.

The ‘On Hold’ campaign, which will run across radio, print, social media and soon hopes to run on tv – reminds the nation that while Coronavirus has put everything on hold, from theatre and sports to holidays and weddings, end-of-life care cannot be put on hold. 

The radio ad is voiced by Marie Curie ambassador, and actor, Jim Carter of Downton Abbey fame, with soundtrack donated by Tom Odell. 

The deeply poignant campaign uses imagery, including an empty stadium and deserted museum, to illustrate how our way of life has changed. These images are followed by the statement: “Not everything is on hold” and an address from Lin, a woman with terminal cancer, saying she doesn’t know how long she has left to live. 

The charity is geared up to care for hundreds of additional dying patients requiring end of life care, in order to relieve the unprecedented pressure on the NHS during the current crisis. Marie Curie needs to raise £2.5million a week to continue to run its essential frontline services, at a time when its ability to generate this money has been seriously compromised. 

Marie Curie provides vital support to dying people and their families in homes and hospices across the country. The charity is largely reliant on donations from the public and the Coronavirus outbreak has disrupted many of its fundraising methods.

Esther Jackson, Marie Curie’s Marketing & Communications Director said: 

“At this time of national emergency, Marie Curie Nurses and frontline staff are needed more than ever as the NHS is put under ever greater strain. 

Sadly, some people’s lives will be shortened by Coronavirus, so the need for end of life care will be greater. Marie Curie can meet this need, and in doing so will help free up intensive care beds needed for Coronavirus patients. Consequently, we hope this campaign will raise further awareness of the vital role our frontline staff provide for people at the end of their life.

We would be grateful for any help from any advertisers, media owners or broadcasters who could help. Please get in touch by emailing

The campaign was created by the Saatchi & Saatchi team working entirely remotely in under a week, from client brief to idea and production.

The ad will run in 60, 30 and 20-second versions, and will be supported by radio ads, followed by print ads in newspapers and magazines, as well as a social media push.

The campaign follows Saatchi & Saatchi’s acclaimed “Whatever you call it” campaign for Marie Curie, which ran last year.

Guillermo Vega, Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi London, said

“Thousands of people are potentially spending their last days in lockdown. Marie Curie urgently needs funds to carry on being there to support them, and the NHS, on the frontline. We’re proud to use our creativity for such a vital appeal, and proud of everyone working together remotely to make it happen.

Source: Saatchi & Saatchi

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