Why Major Global Companies Are Dropping A, B And O From Their Logos
This week, NHS Blood and Transplant and London-based PR agency Engine Group launched the #MissingType campaign, in which the three letters that signify the main blood types — A, B and O — are disappearing from familiar landmarks and major brands. Running from August 16 through August 21, the global campaign spans 21 countries, including the United States, Australia, Singapore, Canada, South Africa and Ireland. With 25 blood services from around the world participating, the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the shortage of blood and encourage more people to donate worldwide.
Notable companies, such as Microsoft, Tesco and Google, as well as iconic world landmarks, like Canada’s “Toronto” sign and the Netherlands’ “I amsterdam” sign, have all dropped the letters A, B and O for the next week to spread awareness on a shortage of blood donations. “Without As, Os and Bs, we are nowhere,” promotions for the campaign proclaim. The campaign then pleads to the public asking them to “Help fill in the gaps.”
This is the second public awareness #MissingType campaign headed by the National Health Service in the U.K., although this is the first time it has gone global. When the NHS first ran the campaign in 2015, more than 30,000 people registered to be new donors in the U.K .
In the U.S., United Blood Services is asking people to “find the her_ in y_u.” The New York Blood Center is working with Morgan Stanley, the Hard Rock Cafe and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, among other groups, to promote the effort — including in a display in Times Square.
The NHS views the #MissingType campaign as a necessary measure because the number of new donors has dwindled worldwide in recent years. A survey of blood services participating in the campaign found the number of first-time donors per year had dropped nearly 30% over the last decade. According to the World Health Organization, only about 33 in every 1,000 people in high-income countries donate blood. In middle-income countries, that number drops to about 12 in every 1,000, while just 5 in every 1,000 people donate blood in low-income countries.
There’s been close to a 30 percent drop in blood donation internationally over the past decade.
The call for increased donations also comes at a time when eligibility restrictions for donating blood are a point of contention around the world. Some have blamed a lack of donors on the rise of tattooing and international travel, both which prohibit donations for one year in the U.S. Homosexual men have also been protesting donating regulations in many regions around the world that actively prevent them from donating blood due to same-sex sexual contact.
Social media users can follow the campaign with the hashtag #MissingType across all social platforms. NHS Blood and Transplant is also encouraging participation from individuals, asking supporters to drop the letters A, B and O from their names on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.