Charity Rapped Over Leaflet Image

A charity has been criticised for a leaflet which claimed people with brown eyes were “more likely to die young”. Save the Children’s mailing could distress youngsters who saw it, the Advertising Standards Authority said.

The watchdog found the mailing in breach of the advertising code and told the charity not to use it again without making changes.

An image on the Save the Children envelope showed close-ups of an African child’s eyes on one side and an Asian child’s eyes on the reverse.

Text next to the pictures said: “If you have brown eyes, you’re more likely to die young.”

A leaflet inside the envelope explained: “Most children born with brown eyes are born in the world’s poorest countries.”

It set out the plight of children in various African and Asian countries and asked for a £3 monthly donation.

Six people complained that children who saw the envelope might fear that having brown eyes could be a cause of early death.

After an investigation, the ASA agreed that the images coupled with the “If you have brown eyes” text could cause “undue fear and distress” to children.

The charity said the leaflet was meant to educate recipients and encourage them to make donations.

Save the Children apologised for any distress caused, saying the mailing was not intended to shock or distress anyone. It offered to amend the mailing before using it again.