Brands have been urged not to overlook engaging with people who are deaf or visually impaired.

According to Sam Latif, Global Leader of Procter & Gamble’s People with Disabilities affinity group, 13 million people in the UK are deaf or have a loss of vision.

As a result, she believes brands could be losing out by failing to make their creative more accessible to these people.

“To enable them to appreciate our advertising not only makes a hugely positive impact on their experience, but of course makes good business sense too,” Ms Latif commented.

Procter & Gamble has made a concerted effort to make its marketing material more accessible to blind and deaf consumers in recent years.

Indeed, the majority of its ads now come with audio descriptions, while it has partnered with external organisations, such as broadcasters, to ensure the technology to show inclusive adverts is available, regardless of what channel is airing them.

The British Deaf Association (BDA) has also pushed for marketers to bear the deaf community in mind when devising their campaigns.

Aine Jackson, Research and Policy Officer at the BDA, pointed out that many deaf people primarily communicate using British Sign Language, which means English is often a second language.

As a result, excessive text on English transcriptions and subtitles can still be “inaccessible and cause them to disengage.”

Ms Jackson has therefore suggested brands look at cutting down on excessive wording and trying to ensure a message can be supported by graphics.

She added that including British Sign Language translations alongside adverts could also help their meaning be conveyed more effectively.

Why are brands failing to market to deaf and blind consumers? Marketing Week