Unilever pledges over 70% of ads will have disabled representation behind the scenes

Unilever has pledged that all advertising productions over €100k will include at least one person with a disability working as as part of the behind-the-scenes crew.

The Inclusive Set Commitment means that over 70% of Unilever brand adverts will now be made with disabled representation behind the camera.

The pledge is a core part of the ‘Believe in Talent’ campaign, which comes as part of the FMCG giant’s Act 2 Unstereotype initiative, created to to get more people with a disability working behind the camera in advertising production.

At present, people with disabilities only represent 8.3% of roles on-screen and 6% off screen in the UK.

As one of the world’s largest advertisers, Unilever will also be giving the industry access to an open-source Inclusive Production Toolkit which will outline best practices and inclusive principles to help agencies and crew support people working with disabilities.


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The launch comes in the wake of research by the company which reveals that 73% of disabled content creators feel they are excluded by the advertising industry, with 90% feeling that people’s attitudes impact upon hiring them on production sets.

Unilever says that tapping into multi-skilled, online content creators from the disabled community offers the industry an “enormous opportunity” to elevate creativity and “forge deeper connections with diverse consumers”.

“As we continue to strive for better creativity in our advertising and seek to build better connections with all people around the world, it’s imperative that persons with disabilities are part of the creative process working both behind the camera and on screen,” said Unilever chief brand officer and chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer, Aline Santos.

“Advertising stands to benefit from harnessing this skilled talent. The proof is in the results and unstereotypical, progressive advertising is delivering for Unilever 92% better brand power, 94% better brand difference, 67% better brand persuasion and 76% better enjoyment of ads.”

As one of Unilever’s agency partners, WPP will be adopting the Inclusive Set Commitment on all Unilever productions and has committed to sharing the Inclusive Production Toolkit across its agency network.

“Building diverse teams that better reflect society is not only the right thing to do, it helps us create campaigns that better resonate and connect with consumers,” said WPP CEO, Mark Read.

“Our long-established partnership with Unilever has always strived to break down stereotypes in the content we create. We’re proud to support this initiative to help further drive inclusivity, in front and behind the camera, and look forward to more brands adopting the Inclusive Set Commitment.”

Unilever’s ‘Inclusive Production Toolkit’ was developed in collaboration with Inclusively Made, founded by Bus Stop Films & Taste Creative, and is available to download here.

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