Industry promises roles for disabled

Campaigners trying to persuade companies to use more disabled people in advertising say they are on the verge of a double breakthrough.

Campaigners trying to persuade companies to use more disabled

people in advertising say they are on the verge of a double

breakthrough.



One advertiser has told them it will be featuring disabled people in an

upcoming TV campaign while another has committed itself to using them in

ads on a regular basis.



Meanwhile, the subject is expected to be among the topics under

discussion by executives of major companies and government officials at

a conference next Thursday.



Ogilvy & Mather will be the ad industry’s representative at the event,

organised by the Employers’ Forum on Disability, which will include

representatives from about 300 groups including BT, Boots, Sainsbury’s

and Levi’s.



The Forum is one of four organisations trying to capitalise on changing

legislation and public attitudes towards the disabled and to make

advertisers as conscious of the needs of disabled people as their US

counterparts.



Jeremy Hughes, the public affairs manager of the Leonard Cheshire

Foundation, one of the groups backing the campaign (called VisABLE),

said: ’We’re not asking companies to increase their ad budgets or to

produce disabled-specific ads.



’We’re trying to bring about a sea-change in the industry and to show

that disabled people don’t just buy wheelchairs, but have considerable

purchasing power.’



The campaign is targeting advertisers which are market leaders in their

sector and which run people-led advertising with a request to contribute

pounds 5,000 towards the cost of the initiative.



Another plan under consideration is to ask creative awards organisers to

consider including a ’social inclusion’ category in which advertising

featuring disabled people might be represented.



Feature, p24.



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