'No make-up selfies' adopt polar bears

Published Wednesday, 26 March 2014
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Women posting photos of themselves online without make-up has raised millions for a cancer charity, but some people ended up accidentally enquiring about adopting a polar bear instead.

'No make-up selfies' adopt polar bears
When polar bears and selfies collide ... (© Getty)

Social networking sites have been inundated with people posting their 'selfies' to raise both awareness and vital funds for Cancer Research UK.

While the charity didn't start the campaign, it was delighted to receive £8 million in donations from the #nomakeupselfies in just six days.

Famous faces, from Rihanna to Cheryl Cole and even UTV's own Alison Fleming, were among those who took part.

But it has since emerged that £18,625 was accidentally donated to the UN agency Unicef instead - because they use the same text number.

Those hoping to donate to Cancer Research UK should have texted "BEAT" to the number, while those texting "DONATE" ended up giving their money to Unicef.

And using the wrong keywords was also how some people ended up enquiring about adopting a polar bear with the World Wildlife Fund, when they accidentally texted "BEAR" instead of "BEAT".

We wish Cancer Research every success in their campaign and their goals. Polar bear selfies are harder to come by - though, as far as we are aware, none wear make-up.

World Wildlife Fund

Anyone realising their mistake doesn't have to worry though.

Kerry Blackstock, the charity's director of fundraising, said: "Any texts sent to us instead of Cancer Research would not result in any donations going to help protect polar bears, as WWF relies on human operators calling people back to confirm adoptions, so no money would have changed hands.

"When we realised there was a lot of interest in a campaign we weren't presently running, we made sure our automatic text message response let the sender know their text had gone awry."

Unicef, in realising the "genuine mix-up", has arranged to transfer the funds it received to their intended destination.

"We contacted Cancer Research UK as soon as we became aware of what was happening," Mike Flynn from Unicef UK said, adding that they were now working to prevent it happening again.

According to Cancer Research UK, the money raised by the selfies campaign has ensured that 10 clinical trials it couldn't fully fund last week will now go ahead.

The charity's chief executive, Harpal Kumar, said: "We've been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing us through the #nomakeupselfie trend.

"We don't receive any government funding for our research and so it's phenomenal to think that the generosity of the public is enabling us to fund critical research that we didn't have the money for six days ago. Being able to fund more trials will bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

"It's been an exciting week, and we'd just like to thank everyone again for their support."

© UTV News
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1 Comments
lynne in South Down wrote (220 days ago):
Brilliant. Funniest news story I have read :)
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