Ad accessibility

Accessible #AdsForAll – survey results

From March 3rd to April 18th we invited the advertising industry to complete a survey about accessible TV advertising, to understand more about current attitudes, practices and what the barriers are to making more.

We enlisted the help of Sue Gray, an independent media insight consultant who’s previously worked as Head of Advertising Research and Development at Channel 4 and Head of Audience Measurement at the BBC. She has analysed the data and her full report is here:

In summary the report tells us that from the small, but interested sample, more people had subtitled (3/4) than audio described (1/4) or signed (1/10) their ads in the last 12 months and the main barriers to making more ads accessible are:

  • Lack of knowledge (4/10)
  • Cost (4/10)
  • Timing (1/3)
  • Creative considerations (1/5)

Initial recommendations

Think accessibility first

Our initial recommendations based on the survey findings are to ‘Think accessibility first’, working in costs and which features of accessibility you’d like to use as early on as possible.

An industry working group

To address the barrier of ‘lack of knowledge’ one of our next steps is to help form a working group (which 6/10 survey respondents were interested in joining) in collaboration with the relevant industry bodies and experts in accessibility. The objectives of these sessions would be to share knowledge and experience, with the end goal of producing collectively agreed best-practice guidelines on accessible advertising.

If you’re interested in this working group please let us know by emailing us . If you submitted your email when filling in the survey, then no need!


In a further bid to help broaden your knowledge on this topic, we’re delighted to announce we’re developing an ‘Accessible Ads’ training course with RNIB and RNID. We had a strong response to this question with 9/10 respondents saying they were interested.


The idea of us tracking levels of accessible ads was backed by 9/10 respondents so we’re encouraging those who submit their ads to The Clearcast Library to tick the box that tells us if ads are audio described and subtitled, so that we can feed these figures back to the industry to help drive change and report on rising levels.

And so…

Lots of food for thought. We will continue to look at the findings and next steps will be released soon.

Thanks to those of you who completed the survey and to industry bodies ISBA, Thinkbox, the Advertising Association, the IPA and the British Arrows who have all supported the initiative.

16th May 2023