Nic Hutton, Ogilvy & Mather’s wheelchair-bound art director, is
being asked to take a leading part in the campaign to get more disabled
people into ads.
The Leonard Cheshire Foundation, which is behind the initiative, wants
him to join a steering committee of agency representatives and
advertisers to set plans in motion.
So far, five agencies and 10 advertisers have declared an interest in
membership of the committee, which will have its first meeting shortly,
before the campaign’s official launch in May.
Last month, Campaign featured the story of how Hutton, 34, an
award-winning creative paralysed from the neck down in a rugby accident
five years ago, has fought against overwhelming odds to return to
Jeremy Hughes, the foundation’s public affairs manager, said: ’If
anybody can help us identify what needs to be done, it must be Nic.’
Hutton said: ’It sounds a very interesting project.’
The hope is that Hutton will join a panel of judges for a nationwide
competition for disabled people. Winners will receive training to enable
them to undertake commercials work.
The competition will be part of a campaign called VisABLE which is
trying to persuade companies to use more disabled people in ads and to
make advertisers more conscious of the disabled, who account for 10 per
cent of the UK population.
Campaigners say they already have promises from one advertiser to
feature disabled people in a forthcoming TV campaign, while another says
it is committed to using them in ads on a regular basis.