Clear Channel UK this week announced the launch of its ‘Different minds, better outcomes’ neurodiversity awareness initiative, as part of its ongoing partnership with the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity.
The new initiative, launched in collaboration with household names and charity partners, including Heineken, Arla, Keep Britain Tidy and LeoReader, aims to inspire change within the advertising industry towards being more inclusive and accessible to neurodiverse customers and talent.
Around 20% of the UK’s population is neurodiverse, with Ben Hope, Marketing Director at Clear Channel UK explaining, “The unique nature of Out of Home as a public medium, reaching 97% of the UK population, means we have a collective responsibility to ensure it’s as accessible as possible to all, through our operations and outputs, that includes the advertising.”
‘Different minds, better outcomes’, which will go live this weekend, will see hundreds of Clear Channel digital screens nationwide feature ads from advertisers that have been produced or adapted to be more neurodivergent friendly. Advertisers have used a range of techniques to be more inclusive – including simplifying artworks, increasing colour contrast, using fonts without capitalisations or serifs to make them more dyslexia-friendly or using CamelCase** in hashtags to make them easier to read.
Laura Butler, Senior Brand Manager at Arla, said: “Partnering with Clear Channel on this project felt like a perfect fit for Arla Lactofree, a brand which is all about feel good and celebrating individuals’ uniqueness. We hope that by raising awareness through our campaign, which has been designed in collaboration with Zeal Creative Agency, we can be part of the movement creating greater understanding of neurodiversity.”
Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Chief Executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy adds: “As a charity, we recognise just how important it is that our work and our message is accessible to all, including those who are neurodivergent, and that is why we are proud to be part of this initiative.”
“At HEINEKEN UK, we continue on our journey to be the UK’s most inclusive pub, cider and beer company. By listening, learning and acting on the elements that can make our out of home adverts more accessible to neurodiverse people is something we’re really proud of. Our current Strongbow and Inch’s campaigns have had small tweaks which can make a big difference to 15% of the population” added Rachel Holms, Brand Unit Director, Cider at Heineken UK.
The initiative is part of the ADHD Foundation’s Neurodiversity Umbrella Project, which is a campaign that aims to change the perception of neurodiverse individuals and celebrate the many strengths that come from thinking differently. Every piece of content developed as part of the Clear Channel initiative will include an umbrella symbol to identify that the content has been designed with neurodivergent individuals in mind.
“More and more we’re seeing society change how it views neurodiversity. Creating communications and campaigns that are accessible for neurodivergent minds is instrumental part of becoming a more inclusive society. Clear Channel has been a long-term partner of the Umbrella Project and ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity and we’re excited to see how this latest campaign will inspire change within the OOH advertising industry to ensure its output reflects a society that celebrates neurodiversity”, Dr Tony Lloyd, CEO of The ADHD Foundation – Neurodiversity Charity.
LeoReader is a free e-reader tool designed to support neurodiverse individuals in the creative industry, James Hillhouse, Cofounder of LeoReader adds, ““Within the creative industry we talk a lot about opening and easing the pathways for new talent. Far too often that debate underestimates the power that knowledge plays in it – the more we learn and know, the more confident and comfortable we become. Everyone has a role to play, but initiatives such as Clear Channel’s point the way forward for how easy it can be to create change if you stop talking and start doing”.
Clear Channel recognises the importance of supporting neurodiverse talent and has been exploring ways to do so meaningfully and authentically, aware of the complexities and nuances amongst neurodiverse individuals. “Neurodiverse individuals make up 54% of the advertising, marketing and media industry (Creative Equals), we want to create a working environment that helps them do their best work and succeed to inspire future generations. Our work in this area is still very much evolving but we are committed to taking steps in the right direction, including a full accessibility review of our digital channels.” Ben Hope, Marketing Director, Clear Channel UK.
The initiative will run from June 15th to June 18th 2023.
** Note from the editor this is in fact an example of PascalCase, not camelCase.