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The Mirror November 6, 1998 - Con of Charity Website

The Mirror, November 6, 1998, Friday
LENGTH: 249 words
BYLINE: Andrew Penman And Dawn Alford
WE'VE caused a stink with our recent story about a "charity" website for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
The website is run by Liverpool company Imagination Online, which touts for advertising by cold-calling businesses.
What the businesses are not told is that after a set donation is given to the hospital, Imagination Online keeps 95 per cent of the advertising money raised.
Now we can show this is not the only way in which advertisers are misled.
Imagination Online also tells potential advertisers: "We've built the website and continue to run it free of charge and it would have cost Great Ormond Street pounds 60,000."
This is rubbish - as we found out when we asked experts to examine it.
Adrian Barrett, managing director of specialist website company Lightmaker Internet, said: "This is a very, very simple website. It could be put together in two or three days for pounds 2,500 to pounds 3,000."
Anthony Capstick, author of How To Change Your Life With Technology, said: "This site would be very simple to produce."
David Mill, of Scotland Online, said: "There's nothing clever or fancy about it. In commercial terms it would be hard to ask more than pounds 3,000."
Great Ormond Street marketing boss Dona Selby said: "I don't think that businesses are being deceived by Imagination Online."
The experts think otherwise. We urge any business thinking of making a donation to avoid the website and give directly to the hospital.

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