ITV launch two creative ad breaks to raise awareness for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)


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On the occasion of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), ITV launched two creative ad breaks designed to raise awareness about accessibility and inclusion. These ad breaks were featured on ITV1 and during “This Morning,” a daytime talk show. With 12 million adults in the UK living with deafness, hearing loss, or tinnitus, and over 2 million experiencing sight loss, this initiative underscores ITV’s dedication to making television accessible to all.

On 16th May, ITV showcased two bespoke ad breaks at 11:40 am and 11:55 am. These ad breaks incorporated various accessibility features, including subtitles, British Sign Language (BSL) signing, and audio descriptions. The goal was to create an inclusive advertising experience for viewers with hearing and sight impairments.

Nine brands participated in this initiative, demonstrating their commitment to accessibility. The participating brands were Aussie, Cadbury’s, Flash, Guide Dogs, Help for Heroes, IKEA, Lenor, Pampers, and Sanex. Show sponsor SharkNinja also adapted its existing idents to include accessibility features.

Vanessa Vidad, Inclusion Co-lead at ISBA, praised ITV’s efforts: “It’s great to see ITV giving time and space to raising awareness of access features that support those with a sight and/or hearing impairment. The number of brands being able to participate shows that great strides are being made to make ads accessible for all. But there is still a huge amount of work to be done, which is what the UK Accessible Advertising Taskforce and Advertising Accessibility Alliance seek to address.”

ITV’s initiative was part of a broader effort of the accessible advertising taskforce lead by ISBA in the UK, which includes various TV partners, brands, and service providers. This group is dedicated to making TV advertising accessible for all audiences by increasing awareness and capabilities around subtitles, audio description, and BSL.

Chris Goldson, ITV’s Director of Commercial Marketing, emphasized the importance of this collaborative effort: “It’s fantastic that so many great brands are supporting these two special ad breaks to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day. It’s crucial that brand owners and media platforms take steps to make advertising accessible to everyone, and the work we’re doing here, and with ISBA, will hopefully encourage more partners to begin their own accessible journey.”

By integrating subtitles, BSL signing, and audio descriptions, ITV has set a new standard for accessible advertising. This initiative not only raised awareness but also demonstrated the practical steps that can be taken to make media inclusive for all audiences. As ITV continues to pioneer in this area, it will likely inspire more brands and broadcasters to prioritise accessibility in their content and advertising strategies.