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AMV BDDO launches disability inclusion service


By Ellen Ormesher | Reporter

May 23, 2022 | 5 min read

AMV BBDO has become the latest agency to shift its focus to the importance of accessibility by launching AMVxOpen – a new partnership that will work with brands to find accessibility- and disability-inclusive experience gaps in order to develop solutions to better attract and serve customers.

AMV Open

From left to right: Sam Hawkey, Sarah Hore-Lacy and Christine Hemphill / Image via AMV

To launch the offering, AMV partnered with Open Inclusion, global experts in inclusive consumer insight, strategy and product innovation, to ensure that brand experiences can be of equal quality for all. Sarah Hore-Lacy, who has been appointed head of AMVxOpen at AMV, explained: “By combining Open Inclusion’s expertise with AMV’s knowledge of our client’s business and brand goals, we are better equipped to understand and serve these communities. This is not only the right thing to do, but better for business too. These communities have immense spending power and are incredibly loyal.”

AMVxOpen has been founded with the view that brands and businesses have overlooked the disabled community for too long, and this lack of visibility is a major issue. One in five people are impacted by a disability today and one in three will acquire a disability at some point in their life. AMVxOpen says it will work to design with people with specific needs, and that will allow everyone using that product or service, regardless of whether or not they have these specific needs, to enjoy it more.

Christine Hemphill, managing director at Open Inclusion, added: “Working with a skilled, creative and deeply innovative agency such as AMV will empower the insights that Open can provide from across the disability community. It will inform a new generation of products, services and experiences that will improve the equity of commercial solutions while providing great value to organizations that embrace the power of a better design approach that is more broadly informed.”

Several clients have already taken advantage of the AMVxOpen offering, including Rexona, which worked with the team on its global launch of the Degree Metathon, the world’s first marathon in the metaverse. The immersive experience combined the world of sport and socially-interactive gaming. It was based in Decentraland’s virtual world, highlighting the need for accessibility, representation and inclusion in these emerging environments. AMVxOpen says it is also working with other clients on live briefs for inclusive design, using research to identify unaddressed needs and improve the accessibility and experience for customers.

Sam Hawkey, AMV BBDO’s chief executive, said the partnership is an example of the agency’s new open API way of working, combining the best available partners with Omnicom’s offerings and the creativity of AMV. “We fundamentally believe open, collaborative, distributed systems are key to mutual value and growth. An open API enables us to build products and capabilities in key areas that drive growth for our clients, for us and for our partners.”

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