Listen up, bosses: never mind your Ps and Qs … the SANBS wants your As, Bs and Os

Attention, all South African brands: the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) wants to (temporarily) “steal” a few letters from your name. But it’s for an excellent cause!

In an innovative bid to attract new, young blood donors, the blood service will again take part in the international Missing Type campaign, from 11 to 18 June 2018.

The campaign asks organisations to remove the letters A, B and O (symbolising the “missing” blood types with the same letters) from their logos or names for a week. Since launching globally a few years ago, the initiative has notched up phenomenal success, spurring thousands of new blood donors to sign up worldwide.

The SANBS hopes this irreverent “disappearing act” will similarly weave a special kind of magic here, where only 1% of South Africans give blood regularly.

“Imagine life without the letters A, B and O … let alone Scrabble!” says Silungile Mlambo, the SANBS’s chief marketing officer. “South African big business has the power to change the fact that our country faces constant blood shortages – and save lives at the same time.

“We’re asking local brands, sports teams, corporates and landmarks to tweak their logos and ‘donate’ their As, Bs and Os for just a week. Deleting the letters of the main blood groups from your company’s name in your adverts, email signatures and other marketing material is a fun and interactive way to raise awareness of South Africa’s urgent need for new blood donors,” she says.

The Missing Type campaign runs from 11 to 18 June 2018, with World Blood Donor Day falling on 14 June.

“It really is critical for the SANBS to replenish blood stocks at this time of year, with the school holidays just around the corner. This will inevitably cause a spike in the demand for blood transfusions,” says Mlambo.

“We are confident that our #MissingType campaign will help boost supply by capturing the imagination of South African businesses and their employees. So come on, CEOs, shed your As, Board of

Bs and Os – patients need them more than you do!”

Corporates that have already signed up to participate include Outsurance (which will become (*utsur*nce) for the week, Famous Brands (F*m*us *r*nds), Varsity Cup (V*rsity Cup) and Lions (Li*ns).

Mlambo says sports teams will also be asked to throw their support behind the campaign, while the public can get involved by deleting the “blood types” from their names on social media for the week of 11 to 18 June.

“Because if you think about it, a South Africa without A, B and O would just be S_uth _fric_ … It just wouldn’t be the same. However, with the help of the private sector and the public, we can fill in the blanks in our blood supply and keep stocks at healthy levels,” says Mlambo