The Government is planning to launch a multi-million pound advertising campaign aimed at challenging disability discrimination.
It is understood that the Department of Work and Pensions is already in talks with agencies about a pitch. The brief is expected to reflect Government plans to implement the next phase of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which will come into effect on October 1, 2004. This will aim to make disability discrimination as offensive as racism, sexism and ageism.
Two years ago the Government set up a review aimed at ensuring that more disabled people appear in its advertising campaigns. The review followed criticism from pressure groups that people with disabilities are rarely represented in campaigns run by Whitehall departments.
In the past the Department for Education and Employment has rolled out ad campaigns highlighting disability discrimination. The 1999 campaign was created by DMB&B and featured shock headlines intended to bring unspoken prejudices to the surface. The agency used the strapline – “See the person”.
Manchester United and England footballer Rio Ferdinand recently starred in a TV campaign to promote the Special Olympics European Football Week, which tackled prejudices associated with the disabled and the mentally handicapped. The ads were created by J Walter Thompson (MW April 17).