Watch: behind Pearson's 'project literacy' campaign

Campaign spoke to the actress and model Lily Cole and John Bird, the founder of The Big Issue, about Pearson's global effort to combat illiteracy.

Pearson, the educational publishing company, launched its global literacy campaign at the Houses of Parliament this week. Organisations including Microsoft, Unesco, and The Big Issue have partnered with Pearson to raise awareness of the impacts of illiteracy, which affects one in ten people worldwide.

Lily Cole, who serves as the campaign ambassador, told Campaign that the relationship between illiteracy and other global issues "speaks for itself". 

She said: "If we want to address these issues we need to, first of all, address illiteracy."

For John Bird, the founder of The Big Issue, literacy is a subject close to his heart because he learned to read while he was in prison at the age of 16.

He said: "One of the principal reasons that I volunteered to go into Parliament... was to raise the question of literacy."


At the centre of the initiative is an animated film that features handcrafted sculptures by Wilfred Wood and is is set to the melody of the 1948 song, ‘A’ You’re Adorable. 

Owen Lee, FCB Inferno’s joint chief creative officer, said: "We wanted something that reminded people of their own journeys to literacy… a style that visually felt quite innocent and naive, but the message behind it was very deep-seated."