Scope looks to end awkwardness people feel when talking to the disabled in comedy ads by Grey

By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

Grey London

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scope article

May 8, 2014 | 2 min read

‘Is this another crushing rejection or is she deaf?’ is just one of the new ads for disability charity Scope, after research discovered that two thirds (67 per cent) of the public say they feel uncomfortable talking to disabled people.

Created by Grey, the campaign is based on the insight that most people don’t know how to act around disabled people – which usually doesn’t come from deep-seated prejudice but is down, primarily, to ‘innocent ignorance’.

Vicki Maguire, deputy ECD at Grey London, said: “We’re extending the hand of friendship to those who feel awkward around disability. This is not a blame game. There’s often no malice involved – many people just don’t know how to act. We’ve had great success with education through comedy, and our aim here is to remove the stigma that often exists around disability. It’s time to break the ice.”Set to launch on Sunday, 11 May, other ads are entitled ‘how do I shake a hand that isn’t there’ and ‘I’ve bent down to a wheelchair user, now what?’.

The ads are fronted by comedian Alex Brooker, who has a prosthetic leg.Richard Hawkes, CEO, Scope, explained: “We’ve all been in situations that have made us cringe. But imagine if every day, people avoided talking to you because they weren’t sure what to say or how to act. That’s the situation that many disabled people face today. “We wanted to raise this issue in a light-hearted way, because it isn’t about pointing fingers. Not enough people know a disabled person, or know enough about disability. This can mean people worry about saying or doing the wrong thing and feel awkward. But it can also have a serious side. “Many disabled people continue to face negative attitudes, in the street, on public transport, at work. We’ve launched this campaign to get us all thinking about what we can do to include disabled people more in our lives.”

The campaign was created by Lex Down and Jamie Starbuck and creatively directed by Vicki Maguire.

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Grey London

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