Paws for Thought: Our latest work with Scottish SPCA

The Lane Agency • 16th May 2019

Every so often, the opportunity to work with someone you’ve always wanted to work with comes up at the worst possible time… that’s exactly what happened for us with the Scottish SPCA in Summer 2018 when we had to decline the opportunity to pitch for their work, but then in December another opportunity arose and despite the Christmas chaos, we went for it this time!

5 years ago, we pitched for the Scottish SPCA website and narrowly missed out. We’ve always kept in touch in hope of a new opportunity to work together and until now it’s always been ‘the one that got away’. Some have even ventured to say that our MD, Ali, loves animals more than people. She has dogs, cats, horses, chickens, guinea pigs and fish of her own and spends her spare time volunteering at her neighbouring polo club and her daughter’s pony club. As part of our account immersion she’ll be spending time at the Scottish SPCA rehoming centres and wildlife centres (which seriously heightens the risk that we’ll be adding to our office menagerie).

So given our previous near-miss, we were delighted to get the chance to pitch for their 2019 spring fundraising campaign. We find that, most of the time, the best briefs and relationships come out of conversations where both agency and client discover how suited they are to working together. So pitching is not something we do a lot of these days. But on this occasion, we decided to give it our all and win a campaign that everyone could easily get behind. 

…And we’re glad we did. Not only did we win the pitch, we went on to win the appointment of strategic agency partner across their new website and to build the brand experience for members and supporters in the coming year.

The Scottish SPCA is recognised by consumers as an organisation of inspectors and officers who both rescue and enforce. In reality, this is an organisation that is actually a national emergency service – it doesn’t receive government or lottery funding currently and every year has to raise over £15m to fund its work in supporting people and animals around Scotland. To imagine what would happen if they didn’t exist would be horrifying. What would happen to the animals experiencing cruelty, animals whose owners pass away with nowhere to go, wildlife discovered by people who don’t know what to do with what they’ve found. Unthinkable.

Beyond this, the organisation spends time with over a quarter of a million Scottish school children helping to educate them about how animals should be treated, effectively stopping cruelty before it begins. Their rehoming centres provide homes to animals that have been withdrawn from terrible situations (that are often pending court case outcomes), and also those that just simply need a new home. 

Most of the support they give is a result of people-related issues. Unfortunately if an animal is suffering there’s generally a person behind it, and whether it’s mental health issues or a lack of education, that person usually also needs help. Despite this fact, there’s no government funding available for the Scottish SPCA. 


In learning all of this, we’ve decided to donate some of our time as an agency to the organisation, alongside our appointed work. As the old saying goes; “If you do something you love, you’ll never work another day”. A sentiment that’s most definitely applicable here. Working on this account is exciting and inspiring. The scale of opportunity for the organisation’s marketing effort is huge.  

Ghandi famously stated: “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” If this is the case, then the need to support the Scottish SPCA in their quest to support people in creating better outcomes for animals is clearly evident. After all, few of us would like to be judged on the basis of how some of the animals the Scottish SPCA come into contact with have been treated.

We’re excited to be able to reveal the new website in the Autumn, but in the meantime you can see our new TV ad here. Delivered on a budget of under £20k, the new TV ad tells the story of Jade, a Scottish SPCA inspector who shares just a glimpse of the terrible experiences her line of work involves, sadly, on a daily basis.

As it approaches its 180th anniversary, the organisation is keen to tell its own stories about the kind of situation their officers encounter every day and how essential their work is. There are many, many happy endings for the animals the Scottish SPCA help, and we’re delighted to play a very small part in that all important work.

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