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Tell Rich People To #GiveACrap On World Toilet Day

WaterAid wants you to tweet at the wealthy to raise money and awareness for global sanitation and clean water issues.

Tell Rich People To #GiveACrap On World Toilet Day
[Covers: courtesy of #GiveACrap, Photo: Flickr user Groume]

Some of the world’s highest earners will be urged on Twitter to show they “give a crap” about global clean water and sanitation issues by donating to charity the amount of money they’d typically earn in the average time it takes to use the toilet.

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November 19 is World Toilet Day, a day designated by the United Nations to draw attention to the importance of sanitation. An estimated 2.5 billion people–one in three of the world’s population–do not have access to a safe, private toilet, according to the charity WaterAid, which also estimates 500,000 children die each year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

The campaign #GiveACrap, created by London-based creative technology shop rehabstudio, aims to raise awareness and funds for WaterAid projects. It revolves around a website, where visitors can find details on some of the world’s richest people on Twitter– including Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, JK Rowling, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Along with their net worth, based on recent rich list rankings by Forbes and the Sunday Times newspaper, the site estimates what each individual earns during so-called “average crap time.” Visitors are invited to pick a rich person to send a Twitter message to, encouraging them to donate that amount to Water Aid and show they “give a crap.” Or you can also use the site’s “Cack-u-lator” to calculate the cash value of your own average toilet time and make a WaterAid donation yourself. The campaign also includes playful Forbes cover parodies.


Sanitation is a serious issue and many of the problems associated with it are preventable with sufficient funds, says rehabstudio strategy partner Tom Le Bree. “The idea for #GiveACrap came out our monthly hack–a regular challenge we set ourselves to come up with ideas, often for good causes, that demonstrate our in-house creative development process,” he says.

It was during this process that a particularly startling insight came to light. “Inspiration came from reading that around 20% of social media users admit to checking their feeds while on the toilet,” says Le Bree. The studio will also try to target Twitter ads promoting the campaign at users whose hashtags suggest they’re tweeting from the porcelain throne.

About the author

Meg Carter is a UK-based freelance journalist who has written widely on all aspects of branding, media, marketing & creativity for a wide range of outlets including The Independent, Financial Times and Guardian newspapers, New Media Age and Wired.

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