By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

March 13, 2017 | 2 min read

Education company Pearson’s group Project Literacy has rolled out its ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’ campaign as it gears up for a second year of sharing with the public the importance of literacy to the public.

The 2017 campaign is focused on ‘inter-generational illiteracy’ with a series of films featuring people who suffer from these issues.

Slots lasting half a minute, a minute and a minute and a half will be be seeded in the US and UK by the Village Communications for a month across channels including Facebook, YouTube, Brightroll and Virool, looking to build upon the 2016 campaign which reportedly “helped 700,000 people on their journey to literacy”.

A film around the campaign debuted at SXSW Austin, Texas, culminating in a live fundraising Spelling Bee on Sunday.

Project literacy

Owen Lee, chief creative officer at FCB Inferno, said: “The Alphabet of Illiteracy last year served as the proverbial creative hand grenade to make people realise the devastating effects of illiteracy on the world. This year we needed to take a different approach. Most of us learned to read at such a young age we take it for granted, but we’ve been inspired by the amazing courage shown by these people and their stories inspired us to create the First Words films.”

Emilie Colker, vice president of global campaigns at Pearson and campaign director for Project Literacy, added: “Literacy rates have stalled since 2000 and this is contributing to generation after generation being left behind and locked into a vicious cycle of illiteracy, which prevents them from progressing in their lives.”

Colker said that the group is moving away from shock to more engaging forms of storytelling, “the moving stories of the newly literate adults featured in the ‘Give Your Word’ campaign are taking the plight to eradicate illiteracy beyond their own homes and into those of others”.

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