A survey of 2,000 Brits found that 55 per cent think there aren’t more people with physical disabilities in ads because they ‘make people uncomfortable’, while 62 per cent say the same for those with mental disabilities. The second reason given was that people hadn’t been exposed enough to disabled communities.
Advertising has the opportunity to change that: the survey found that 63 per cent of those with physical disabilities think that seeing more disabled people in ads removes the stigma around their community, while five per cent wish that brands would be braver in showing ‘people like me’ in their ads.
Maltesers took an unprecedented step with their ad campaign (shown above) that featured disabled actors, but with mixed results. While the campaign proved to be the ‘most successful‘ advert for the brand in a decade and was widely praised for normalising disability, the ads have also garnered criticism for centring each storyline completely around the actor’s disability, rather than her other characteristics.