Only 4% of TV adverts in the UK feature disabled people, dropping to 1% of disabled people in lead roles, despite 22% of the UK population being disabled, according to new research from broadcaster Channel 4.
The findings underpin C4’s 2022 Diversity in Advertising Award with over £1m of TV and social media airtime on offer, now including C4’s YouTube channel.
The competition challenges advertisers and creative agencies to pitch an exceptional campaign which features and portrays disabled people with any kind of condition – visible and/or non-visible disability – at the heart of an outstanding ad.
C4 chief revenue officer Verica Djurdjevic says: “Our ground-breaking Diversity in Advertising Award has generated a huge amount of debate within the advertising industry since it was launched in 2016. But actual progress on improving disabled representation has been too slow and it’s time to supercharge our efforts, embrace the challenge and put disabled people at the heart of our campaigns.
“Each year it’s a genuine thrill to see the amazing ideas brands and agencies put forward, and we’re looking forward to working with the best in the industry once again to help bring about meaningful and lasting change.”