SANBS's campaign asks organisations to remove the letters A, B and O (symbolising the 'missing' blood types with the same letters) from their logos or names for a week.

The SANBS says it hopes this irreverent 'disappearing act' will similarly weave a special kind of magic here, where only 1% of South Africans give blood regularly.

"Imagine life without the letters A, B and O … let alone Scrabble," says Silungile Mlambo, the SANBS’s chief marketing officer. "South African big business has the power to change the fact that our country faces constant blood shortages – and save lives at the same time."

"We’re asking local brands, sports teams, corporates and landmarks to tweak their logos and ‘donate’ their As, Bs and Os for just a week," adds Mlambo.  

"Deleting the letters of the main blood groups from your company’s name in your adverts, email signatures and other marketing material is a fun and interactive way to raise awareness of South Africa’s urgent need for new blood donors," she says.

"It really is critical for the SANBS to replenish blood stocks at this time of year, with the school holidays just around the corner. This will inevitably cause a spike in the demand for blood transfusions," adds Mlambo.

"We are confident that our '#MissingType' campaign will help boost supply by capturing the imagination of South African businesses and their employees. So come on CEOs, shed your As, Bs and Os – patients need them more than you do," Mlambo says. 

Corporates that have already signed up to participate, including Outsurance (which will become *utsur*nce for the week) and Famous Brands (F*m*us *r*nds), as well as the Varsity Cup (V*rsity Cup) rugby tournament and the Lions rugby team (Li*ns).

Mlambo says other sports teams will also be asked to throw their support behind the campaign, while the public can get involved by deleting the 'blood types' from their names on social media for the week.

"If you think about it, a South Africa without A, B and O would just be 'S*uth *fric*' ... It just wouldn’t be the same. However, with the help of the private sector and the public, we can fill in the blanks in our blood supply and keep stocks at healthy levels," concludes Mlambo.

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