Reframing Accessible Advertising – Flock and ISBA Launch Accessibility Toolkit

Flock x ISBA: Reframing Accessible Advertising

ISBA and Flock have jointly introduced REFRAME, a guide designed to assist marketers in seamlessly integrating accessibility into their advertising campaigns.

The guide's overarching goal is to inspire all advertisers to prioritize accessibility in their briefs, with the ultimate aim of fostering an accessible audio-visual advertising ecosystem by June 2024. This initiative is a response to compelling statistics, highlighting that in the UK alone, there are 12 million individuals who are deaf, experience hearing loss, or suffer from tinnitus. Notably, four out of five individuals aged 18–25 opt to use accessible features, such as subtitles, either consistently or intermittently. Brands that neglect to incorporate accessibility features in their advertising risk excluding substantial portions of the population.

In pursuit of this objective, Flock has engaged with key industry stakeholders to gather insights, advice, and best practices. These contributions have played a pivotal role in shaping the rationale for change, offering real-world case studies, and compiling a toolkit. This toolkit includes both short and long-term actions that marketers should contemplate when formulating their strategies to make advertising more accessible for individuals with auditory or visual impairments.

Click here to access the Reframe toolkit

The case for accessible advertising

Best Practice in audio description

How to approach audio description and sound design for short and long form content

Key Insights For More Accessible Content – Research by P&G and RNIB

P&G x RNIB: Key Insights for More Accessible Content

P&G teamed up with the Royal National Institute for the Blind in the UK to conduct new research into how to ensure content is accessible to blind and partially-sighted consumers.

Understanding the what and the why


The research aimed to identify key insights and guidelines for activation.

1. From low to no vision, it is not one size fits all.

2. The role of communication is mainly informative, there is an opportunity to better serve these consumers

3. Blind and partially-sighted consumers approach advertising differently

Find out more, including key recommendations and discussion points, in the slide deck below.

Download the full slide deck here

An Introduction to Digital Accessibility – P&G Global Accessibility Team

P&G's Global Accessibility Team presents an Introduction to Digital Accessibility.

Paul Gallagher, Global Accessibility Lead at Procter & Gamble gives an overview of the work P&G have done on digital accessibility: what is digital accessibility and why does it matter, how have P&G been active in bringing about change in this area, what do successful digital accessibility practices look like and how can we measure success.

Download slide deck here to find out more

Josh Loebner: Advertisers should think of accessibility as a gateway to creativity

It’s time to embrace inclusion as a sublime differentiator that elevates your work

Josh Loebner, Global Head of Inclusive Design, Wunderman Thompson -  March 2023

Accessibility is a long word, and in an industry that loves truncating titles—KFC, BMW, UPS, REI—we need to embrace a11y.

This numeronym (where numbers form an abbreviation) conveys that in between the A and Y of “accessibility,” there are 11 more letters. For many nondisabled people, accessibility can seem like a foreign concept that requires monumental changes; using a11y makes inclusion more approachable, personal and achievable.

This subtle moniker change may help to shift thinking and actions from accessibility as “something another department deals with” to a reframing of how everyone has the power to be an ally across departments and throughout the creative process.

Accessibility is at an all-time high in terms of visibility. But implementation comes down to how agencies and clients interpret it, moving from a marginalized agenda item to a call to action with multifaceted returns.

There are growing opportunities to reach more groups through more accessible pathways, especially since the disability community has grown beyond the physical to include neurodiversity, such as autism, and other cognitive disabilities like dyslexia.

Accessibility as creativity

To truly incorporate accessibility into creativity, the ideative process needs to be realigned, starting with the brief all the way to the production of campaign assets.

For some creative teams, accessible elements such as captions, alt tags or audio descriptions may still be viewed as unimportant and disconnected from the rest of a campaign. With 1 in 4 people in the U.S. and more than a billion people globally disabled, accessibility should be anything but an afterthought.

Done poorly, accessibility as creativity can create ambiguity and cause this massive potential customer base to abandon your brand. Executed optimally, it galvanizes consumers, corporations and media on a global scale. Apple’s “The Greatest,” Amazon’s Accessibility Anthem and Mastercard’s Touch Card commercials are just a few examples that aligned, refined and defined the concept of accessibility as creativity.

Although the advertising industry is still in the initial stages of including immersive audio descriptions and captions, accessibility as creativity is moving beyond the confines of campaigns to innovative product design. Disability entrepreneurs and startups, alongside multinational conglomerates, are tapping into accessibility as a differentiator.

Once confined to products found only in pharmacies and medical specialty stores, accessibility as creativity has pushed these items into the mainstream, with disabled consumers and caregivers now able to find a11y products across a range of retailers and categories from clothing to groceries, grooming to makeup.

Apps, connected packaging (which incorporates a digital component like a QR code), artificial intelligence, 3D printing, remote and hybrid work, and online shopping are converging to elevate creativity into networked, ongoing and deeper consumer connections. Some of many brand innovations with an eye to inclusivity include Ikea’s 3D-printed a11y ThisAbles add-ons, Lancome’s Hapta motorized makeup applicator and Microsoft’s adaptive computer accessories.

Accessibility as humanity

Accessibility has, for far too long, been relegated to technical compliance. It is often confined to jargon-filled project phases centering on remediation and risk mitigation.

Those areas are justified, but let us move more conversations and commitments from technical requirements to human-centric innovation. Too often, digital teams consider accessibility at the end of a project, with responsibility falling to the quality assurance team or an outside vendor. This results in websites with minimal and obligatory accessibility features.

Reframing accessibility as humanity will open a new world where experience teams, service designers, social media strategists, creative directors, copywriters and others can imbue inclusive design at each point within a creative process through the final project. Brands will benefit from expanded omnichannel content and more options for creative assets along the customer journey.

For accessibility to effectively span these diverse agency and brand teams, a11y can be achieved through dedicated design training, accessibility leadership and broader involvement from department staff acting as ambassadors of disability knowledge and empathy. Consider opening the co-creation process to include experts among disability communities and occupational therapists who can guide your development team to success.

Accessibility is the foundation and throughline, achieved when each of us commits to being a marketing a11y. After all, creativity and humanity at their best are accessible, welcoming, memorable and inspire action.

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RNIB – Making TV ads accessible for people with sight loss – Focus group feedback


Following a campaign launched in 2019 by the RNIB, in 2020 a total of 12 brands launched their Christmas ad campaigns in the UK with audio description (AD). Given the growing interest in this area, the RNIB set out to evaluate if the measures taken by advertisers have improved the viewing experience for people with sight loss.

The RNIB, therefore, organised a series of focus groups, conducted in January 2021 to assess the accessibility of Christmas ads from 2020.

And here as a Word file:

egta Snapshot: A practical guide to Access Services in TV Advertising


egta aims to raise awareness amongst its members around advertisers’ new accessibility objectives and to make sure that members are ready to take on the associated challenges. egta launched a survey in March 2022 and conducted interviews with those members who are already able to deliver access services. The aim was to better understand the steps taken and challenges faced when deciding to put these features in place, not just for TV content and programming but for TV advertising too. This report brings together the findings from the survey and interviews, and aims to serve as a guide for TV companies wishing to develop their own access services.

Read here

ARPP – French advertising self-regulatory organisation – publish guidelines on audio-describing TV commercials


To mark the United Nations World Day of Disabled Persons on 3 December 2021, the advertising industry in France published a 'Guide to Best Practice for Audio Description on Television Advertisements', drawn up in consultation with organisations representing the visually impaired and  audio description professions.

In order to create a favourable framework for the development of audio description in television advertising, this resource proposes guidelines that meet the expectations of the stakeholders concerned.

Access here

(Unofficial English-language translation of the press release here).

EBU guidelines for delivering accessibility services using HbbTV

General information

HbbTV offers a powerful toolbox that can facilitate a range of access services, with the advantage that it does not predefine any concrete type of service, leaving it up to service providers to build attractive and useful services. The EBU’s HbbTV & DVB-I Interoperability Group developed, Guidelines for delivering accessibility services using HbbTV and organised an online talk,  Leave No One Behind, focusing on the technical aspects of enabling access services through HbbTV.

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