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S&H’s campaign grabs the attention of leading celebs including Ricky Gervais, Olivia Newton John, Slash and Stephen Fry


Sudler & Hennessey London, developed Peace by piece – a global, multichannel campaign for Animals Asia.

The aim of this landmark campaign was to help rescue and rehabilitate over 130 moon bears trapped on a bile farm in Nanning, China.

A state-owned company that raises bears to extract bile for use in traditional Chinese medicine said it would hand over 130 bears and the farm so it can be turned into a rehabilitation centre. This move is a major success in the campaign to end the practice of bear-bile farming, which animal rights campaigners call cruel and abusive. Animals Asia says that as many as 10,000 bears are held in captivity in China and used for bile extraction, often under poor conditions that cause long-term physical and psychological suffering.

“This negotiation is a result of years of growing awareness and increased opposition, with the bear farmer showing the moral integrity to do the right thing,” Jill Robinson, the founder and chief executive of Animals Asia, said when announcing the plan in Beijing.

The plan to convert the bear farm into a rescue centre is set to cost Animals Asia $5 million. That includes transportation of 28 bears to Animals Asia’s facility in the southern city of Chengdu for medical treatment in early May, the renovation of the buildings on the farm for 102 bears, and about three years of care for the animals.

“Animals Asia asked Sudler to come up with a multichannel strategy and creative approach to deliver this $5 million target,” said Lee Williams, Sudler London’s Executive Creative Director. “Faced with this, Sudler’s London office proposed enabling individuals to donate enough to acquire the farm, piece by piece; and from this simple idea, the concept of creating a peaceful land for the bears, was born. As was the campaign bannerhead: Peace by piece.”

This involved the creation of separate but harmonious branding and logotype for the campaign, along with direct mail, online, microsite, and launch video, plus the coordination of multiple-language versions of the site and integration with Animals Asia payment partners. All within a six-week time frame!

“We’re very proud to have been invited to help Animals Asia achieve this fabulous goal, and wish them every success,” Julian Wakeley, Sudler’s Head of Interactive said. “In the current climate, all charities have to compete for airtime, so coming up with a compelling proposition, both online and offline, one that can work in a social context and that resonates with their existing and future donor base is crucial.”

The campaign certainly created a media stir. Ricky Gervais, Slash and Stephen Fry were among the high-profile celebs that tweeted their significant support. Furthermore, Olivia Newton John, the cast of Downton Abbey, Judi Dench and others also lent their support via short film clips linked to the campaign. One of the films entitled ‘Smudge’ has achieved over 350,000 YouTube views.

“We were honoured to have been asked by Animals Asia to help – especially since this sort of work isn’t always briefed to Healthcare agencies,” David Higgins, Managing Director of Sudler & Hennessey Group UK, said. “Great work gets noticed and can change lives; we’re really proud to have helped achieve this for Animals Asia.”

The campaign is still live here:

The Smudge film is here: