For the second year in a row, major global companies such as Google, Nandos and Tesco are dropping A, O and B from their logos to support the NHS Blood and Transplant campaign The Missing Type to raise awareness about donating blood.
The letters signify different blood types.
Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every donation can help or save up to three patients and last year in England alone 900,000 people gave blood – helping up to 2.7 million patients.”
The amount of blood being donated has dropped globally between 2005 and 2015 by a fifth, and in the UK, new volunteers have dropped by 40% in the last 10 years.
Under the video it says: “Around the world, As, Bs and Os are disappearing. This year blood donor organisations from 21 countries – covering 1 billion people – are coming together for our Missing Type campaign. We are asking everyone to ‘drop’ the letters of the main blood groups to show support for blood donation and register to give blood.”
Donated blood is vitally important for hospitals to be able to undertake lifesaving work.
“In England alone we need almost 200,000 new donors, especially from blood groups like O negative and A negative, younger and black and South Asian donors,” says NHS Blood and Transplant.
PR Week said: “In the UK, people can start donating blood from the age of 17, but more than half of donors were aged 45 and over last year. Black donors are also in particularly short supply – 3.5 per cent of the population of England is black African or black Caribbean, but they accounted for fewer than one in every 150 donors.”
Here’s the difference it makes:
Controversially, however, the campaign doesn’t address the ongoing travesty that gay men aren’t allowed to donate blood if they’ve had sex in the last year.
HuffPost UK Entertainment Editor Matt Bagwell wrote a blog last year addressing the problem, saying: “Despite being very comfortable, and most importantly happy, in my own skin, this blatant inequality reignites feelings of shame in my out and proud self – and this from the very NHS that I, as a responsible, sexually active grown-up, use for my regular sexual MOTs.
“Of course, gay men aren’t the only section of society who are banned from donating; new mums, the newly tattooed and sex workers are amongst those who are also prohibited.
“But they are life choices, being gay is not, and the fact that an antiquated rule still exists in this day and age banning all gay men from donating needs to be addressed pronto, and it’s never been more urgent.”