Select Committee on Health Minutes of Evidence




  The acceptance and continuation of any sponsorship by Rethink is conditional upon Rethink being satisfied that its name will not be used to promote the efficacy of a particular product, service or event.


  1.  The source of sponsorship of any Rethink project, group or event must be clearly identified and described, eg "this booklet has been produced with the support of [name of organisation], this event has been subsidised through funding received from [name of organisation]".

  2.  The terms of sponsorship must not influence any Rethink policy or service or the content or distribution of any Rethink publication, including any audio-visual material; Rethink has total editorial control. Also, the terms of sponsorship must not unduly influence any Rethink event.

  3.  A product or service associated with a sponsor must not be promoted by Rethink staff or members, though they may publicise the relationship between the sponsor and Rethink.

  4.  Rethink projects, groups, events, publications or audio visual material must not be sponsored by a person or organisation whose business consists wholly or mainly in the manufacture or supply, or in the provision of a service, which does not meet with the approval of the Board of Trustees.

  5.  Opinions must not be given on the efficacy of a particular drug in medication fact sheets sponsored by a pharmaceutical company.

  6.  The person or organisation providing information must always be stated in medication fact sheets.

  7.  All requests for sponsorship should first be considered by the Rethink Fundraising Department to check the suitability of the company as a sponsor.

  8.  Care must be taken to identify whether proposed sponsorship income is taxable.


  Rethink will continue to seek sponsorship, subject to the conditions above. It will not accept sponsorship if those conditions are not met. Rethink will withdraw from sponsorship if those conditions are not met by sponsors at any stage in a partnership with them.


Q.  Doesn't the acceptance of sponsorship from a pharmaceutical company imply the endorsement of the company's products by Rethink?

A.  No. The aim of many pharmaceutical companies is to support activities associated with mental illness rather than to narrowly promote their products. Rethink welcomes this as a valuable source of funding for its work, including:

    —  making available detailed fact-sheets explaining aspects of mental health care and treatment and particular medications;

    —  subsidising the cost of conferences and training events of value to both Rethink members and staff;

    —  supporting local services provided by Rethink.

Q.  How important is it for Rethink to have a good working relationship with pharmaceutical companies?

A.  It is important both to attract sponsorship money and because it is in our best interests to work well with pharmaceutical companies for the benefit of everyone concerned.


  1.  A Rethink publication, project or service is deemed to be sponsored if any of its costs are met by an organisation or person other than Rethink, with a view to promoting its own commercial interests or activities. The term "publication" includes audio-visual items as well as written material.

  2.  Rethink has accepted sponsorship of publications, events, and local projects for many years, including sponsorship by pharmaceutical companies on the understanding that:

    —  Rethink does not promote particular products of any company;

    —  the company accepts Rethink's sponsorship policy;

    —  the total amount of funds received for sponsorship is less than 1% of Rethink's annual turnover.

  3.  Sponsorship income received without any services being provided in return will normally be treated as a donation and outside the scope of both Corporation Tax and VAT. The following services provided by a charity to a sponsor would, however, be considered in determining whether sponsorship income is taxable:

    —  the use of its mailing list;

    —  the use of its logo;

    —  the exclusive rights of the sponsor to sell their goods or services on its premises.

  Acknowledgement of a sponsor's support in a charity publication would not be regarded as trading income.

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Prepared 26 April 2005