25/03/2014 13:45 | By Stephanie Wood, senior editor, MSN Her

Text errors lead to #nomakeupselfie donors giving to wrong charity and adopting a polar bear

...but the craze still raises over £8 million for Cancer Research UK


MSN's fashion & beauty blogger Poppy Dinsey shares her #nomakeupselfie

MSN's fashion & beauty blogger Poppy Dinsey shares her #nomakeupselfie / Credit: Poppy Dinsey

Thousands of pounds donated as part of the #nomakeupselfie craze have been sent to the wrong charity, it has emerged.

Unicef told the BBC that it had identified £18,625 as being accidentally pledged by people texting 'DONATE' instead of 'BEAT' in error.

The UN organisation added that it was working with Cancer Research UK to arrange for the funds to be transferred.

In another case of text message error, other donors were sent a message thanking them for enquiring into adopting a polar bear after their phone's autocorrect system changed 'BEAT' to 'BEAR'.

They received a text from animal charity WWF reading: "Thank you for choosing an adorable polar bear. We will call you today to set up your adoption."

However, despite the errors, the amount raised by the internet phenomenon has now passed the £8 million mark, Cancer Research UK announced today.

Texting errors saw #nomakeupselfie donors enquiring into adopting a polar bear instead of giving money to Cancer Research UK (© AP)

The campaign, which was not started by the cancer charity, has seen women posting make-up-free pictures of themselves on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to texting 'BEAT' to 70099 to donate £3. Some men have also joined in the campaign by posting pictures of them wearing full make-up.

Cancer Research UK said that the money raised will allow the charity to conduct an additional 10 clinical trials looking into new treatments for diseases including leukaemia and various types of cancer.

The charity's chief executive, Dr Harpal Kumar, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing us through the #nomakeupselfie trend.

“We don’t receive any government funding for our research and so it’s phenomenal to think that the generosity of the public is enabling us to fund critical research that we didn’t have the money for six days ago. Being able to fund more trials will bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

“It’s been an exciting week, and we’d just like to thank everyone again for their support."

To make a donation to the Cancer Research campaign, visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate 

More on MSN Her...

Poppy Dinsey on how to take a good #nomakeupselfie

Celebrities' make-up free selfies

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