ISBA and Flock launch REFRAME: Guidance for Accessible Advertising

ISBA and Flock have launched REFRAME: Guidance for Marketers on how to incorporate Accessibility into their advertising campaigns.

The ambition of the guide is to encourage all advertisers to consider accessibility when briefing to drive towards an Accessible AV advertising ecosystem by June 2024. This is in response to significant statistics. There are 12 million people in the UK who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. Four out of five 18–25-year-olds choose to use accessible features such as subtitles all or part of the time. Ultimately, brands who do not include accessibility elements in their advertising are excluding significant proportions of the population. 

To help deliver on this objective, Flock have spoken with industry stakeholders to collate learnings, advice and best practice that has helped to inform the rationale for change, case studies and a toolkit including short and long-term actions that marketers should consider when setting out their roadmap for change to make advertising accessible for those with auditory or visual impairments. 

As an immediate next step, ISBA are asking that all brands choose to ‘Opt-in’ for subtitles where possible for all of their advertising going forward. Bobi Carley, Head of Media and Diversity & Inclusion Lead at ISBA has reached out to all major ad delivery companies including Peach, Extreme Reach and Clearcast to discuss the ambition of setting ‘opting out’ of subtitles as a default rather than ‘opting in. Bobi said, 

“We know from our research and conversations with our ISBA members that making advertising accessible is important for them. However, often it can be an element that is forgotten or excluded due to time and budget constraints. But, including subtitles is low cost and can take less than 24 hours to implement. We hope that by setting ‘Opt-in’ for subtitles as default that this will be the start of a change in mindset and behaviours around this critical topic.”

Chair of ISBA’s Inclusion Network, Kerry Chilvers said,

“Accessible Advertising has been a key priority for ISBA’s Inclusion Network in 2023. Collectively we want to drive change and endeavour to make advertising available for all. Awareness and education is needed for us to progress, to make sure as advertisers we know how to make the our activity accessible, and so that we can work with the wider industry to make sure we are considering all audiences in our Advertising.”

ISBA and Flock Associates are committed to delivering sustainable change in the industry with regards to the topics surrounding inclusivity. To date, they have collaborated on a number of other guides, including Representation of a Nation and Evolution of Representation, both centred around driving authentic representation from the inside out. 

Flock’s COO Aysha Haynes said,

“We’re really excited about the enthusiasm we’ve received from the brands and agencies we’ve collaborated with when developing this guide. Whilst we know that brands have been making admirable strides in driving diversity and inclusivity as part of their brand strategy, it is important for all advertisers to keep front of mind that it is not possible to be fully inclusive until everyone is included. We hope the Reframe guidance will help support positive steps to embedding accessibility in advertising.”

The guidance produced is fully accessible to audiences with visible and hearing difficulties and can be accessed via ISBA and Flock. ISBA members can access it directly from the Knowledge Hub on the ISBA website, Flock clients can access it via their website