• Transform magazine
  • November 15, 2018


Dr Hadwen Trust rebrands to Animal Free Research UK

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Despite the extent to which cruelty-free research in the cosmetic sector has progressed, a contentious issue remains their use in medical experimentation. However, some organisations have long been dedicated to championing the alternatives to research involving animal testing. A leading trust, historically known as the Dr Hadwen Trust, has rebranded to Animal Free Research UK. It hopes the name change will clarify its message and allow the organisation to reach its ambitious fundraising target.

Known as the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research since 1970, after the former president of the organisation now known as Cruelty Free International, Animal Free Research UK is a grant-giving trust. By awarding scientific grants to advance the use of animal alternatives in research communities, Animal Free Research UK hopes to change consensus in the scientific community.

However, research conducted with Animal Free Research UK’s many stakeholders revealed the previous Dr Hawden name was confusing and created a barrier between charity and potential patrons. The overall rebrand thus includes a complete name change, although the charity’s company and charity numbers will remain the same. For Spencer du Bois, the London-based brand consultancy tasked with implementing the charity’s brand vision, care was taken to act sensitively towards an organisation championing potentially emotive issue.

Despite the name change, the updated visual identity considers the charity’s brand equity and its history which is well-known and loved among supporters. Spencer du Bois was also careful to ensure the potential to reach further audiences was not compromised with overly-divisive imagery.

Claire Biscard, creative director at Spencer du Bois, says, “It's a privilege to create a brand we absolutely believe in – something that has the potential to help stop animal testing forever. It needed to speak with complex and often opposed audiences – the scientific community and ethically driven consumers.”

 “We created a brand that quite literally takes animal out of the equation and campaigns for Animal Free Research UK's revolutionary approach.”

And a future-facing vision is the strategy around which the Animal Free Research UK brand is positioned. With the charity’s mixed audience, of animal welfare supporters and medical researchers, key to maintaining fundraising and changing scientific consensus respectively, a logo was created to become a central point around which the brand’s stakeholders could rally.

The brand update also coincides with a launch of the new Animal Free Research UK website. Although a moral and ethical debate rages on within the charitable, business and scientific communities, Animal Free Research UK’s championing of vegan produce and revolutionary approach to animal-free medical research is carefully woven into its new brand positioning.

Emma Wrafter, development director at Animal Free Research UK, says, “We are really excited about the new name and brand. It’s fresh, innovative and ground-breaking – just like the work we’re doing to replace animals in medical research. To fulfil our ambition for animal free research we need to increase our income to fund more scientists, universities and institutes to provide ethical, robust and evidential solutions which save animals from the labs. Our new brand will make it much easier to communicate this mission to supporters.”