Don’t like an NGO ad? – Do something about it!

23 june 2015

What can you do if you feel that an Irish organisation is over-simplifying or deliberately misrepresenting the situation in a developing country?

Simple: you have the right to let them know you are not happy! And here's how to go about it:

The vast majority of Development organisations in Ireland have signed onto a Code of Conduct on Images and Messages which guides their public communications. By signing the Code, these organisations have promised to uphold certain values and to actively seek feedback about the quality of their public communications. (You can find out more about the Code here:

What you can do:

  • Check if the organisation is a signatory to the Code of Conduct.A full list of organisations that have signed onto the Code is available here:

  • Contact the organisation by phone, email or in writing. You don't have to write a long note. Simply describe the ad, article or photo that you are referring to, and ask the organisation whether they agree that the item in question is in breach of the principles and commitments of the Code of Conduct.Under the terms of the Code, the organisation has a duty to appoint a contact person specifically for this type of communications, and a duty to respond to you.(NB: Please ensure to clearly state your name and contact details!)

  • If you have not received a response, or are not satisfied with the response, you can contact Dóchas. Under terms of the Code, people who feel that their request has not been taken seriously, can contact the Dóchas office. The procedure to do that is set out here on the Dóchas website.