Whilst not strictly an NHS Identity issue, it is important that sponsorship arrangements must not damage the good reputation of the NHS or the value of the NHS brand.
All sponsorship arrangements must be signalled clearly and transparently through the use of a sponsorship credit. The primary purpose of a sponsorship credit is to identify the sponsor and establish the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored project. The sponsorship credit should use the explanatory statement ‘sponsored by’ or ‘in association with’ above the sponsor’s name or logo. The sponsor’s name or logo should be clearly identified, ensuring that it does not imply that they have ownership or control of the project.
Before entering into a sponsorship arrangement, you should consider the following:
- Does the sponsor support the principles and values underpinning the NHS Identity?
- Will sponsorship dilute your organisation’s message?
- Sponsorship should only be used to enhance activities, not to create them as a vehicle purely for promoting the sponsor.
- Could there be any justifiable cause for complaint – from either the public or the media – if the sponsorship goes ahead?
- Your organisation must not – and must not appear to – endorse the sponsoring company or its products, and sponsors must not generally use the activity as a direct sales channel for its products or services.
When selecting a sponsor, you should develop clear criteria against which their appropriateness can be judged. This may include:
- relevance of the sector for your organisation’s message
- its demographic relevance and synergy with the audience
- its ethics
- its financial record (e.g. is the organisation viable or currently under investigation)
- its relationship with your organisation (e.g. is it involved in any significant commercial negotiations with your organisation).
Sponsors from the following categories are prohibited:
- faith, religion and equivalent systems of belief
- adult products and services
- tobacco products
- weapons and gun clubs
- political or lobby groups
- any categories that relate to a controversial health issue (e.g. foods with a high sugar content).