Visibility of Disability: Portrayals of Disability in Advertising | Nielsen

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Visibility of Disability: Portrayals of Disability in Advertising

6 minute read | August 2021




Living with a disability is increasingly a part of everyday life. ​​Whether the disability is seen or unseen, more than a quarter of the U.S. population has one, and many of us who aren’t disabled are likely to know someone who is living with one. We know that media has the power to shift the narrative around disability by better reflecting the real lived experience of people with disabilities. So, while film and TV content have made progress in depicting stories of disability, as evident in the surge of programming inclusive of disabilities and related themes over the last 10 years, advertising featuring people with disabilities lags far behind. With a $21 billion market potential, advertisers cannot afford to miss the opportunity to engage with the disabled community and their allies.

Disability Presence in Advertising Creative

Most of the time, disability is absent from advertising, except when it’s focused on products that treat disabilities. Rarely [...]

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