Press release -
STAMMA & WIKIPEDIA TEAM UP TO LAUNCH GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TACKLING THE HARMFUL LANGUAGE AROUND STAMMERING
Stamma launches a global campaign, created by VMLY&R and in collaboration with Wikipedia, to change the public’s perception of stammering. ‘Find the Right Words’ aims to start a new conversation around harmful biased language, one which has never entered the public eye when it comes to stammering.
Working with the community at Wikipedia, Stamma and VMLY&R edited misleading language used on the platform to describe those who stammer. These included historical entries like that of Lewis Carroll, but also household names of today such as Ed Sheeran and Emily Blunt.
The OOH and global social campaign shows the language used on Wikipedia to describe people that famously stammer, before and after editing took place. The campaign also includes a film documenting the project, narrated by actor, podcaster and Hip-Hop icon, Scroobius Pip, a fellow stammerer.
Jimmy Wales, Founder at Wikipedia, added: “No one should feel like they are worth less as a person because of something they cannot change. The project really speaks to the nature of Wikipedia, not just as a learning tool, but as an ever-evolving platform that needs to accurately reflect the world we live in.”
Jane Powell, CEO at Stamma, said: “We need to change the language used to describe stammering, remove the negativity, and create a culture of respect and acceptance. Stammering is just how some people talk,”
Stamma also launched Editorial Guidelines to enable everyone to find the right words talking about stammering. The guidelines have been shared with key stakeholders in the publishing, creative, recruitment and education sectors, asking them to set an example.
Daniel Liakh, Creative at VMLY&R, commented: “I’ve been stammering for as long as I’ve been talking. What helped me overcome the shame of talking differently are the facts around what stammering actually is. I hope to get more people to understand how to talk about something that can be pretty hard to talk about.”
‘Find the Right Words’ launches with an online film and a social and OOH campaign in the run-up to International Stammering Awareness Day on Thursday 22nd October. It is supported by Stamma’s media partners, JCDecaux UK and Ocean Outdoor.
The campaign is supported by the National Stuttering Association in the USA, the Canadian Stuttering Association, the Australian Speak Easy Association, and the Irish Stammering Association, giving the message a truly global reach.
Between 1-3% of adults stammer, yet the condition is commonly misunderstood, and people who stammer are often perceived as ‘weaker’, ‘less confident’, and ‘less able’. While these characterisations are usually unconscious, they can profoundly affect the lives of people who stammer, from careers to social lives and mental well-being. This bias also infects the language used to describe the condition, as well as their lives and accomplishments, when after all, it’s just how someone talks.
firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 7905 345287
email@example.com / +44 7795 367819
About the British Stammering Association, Stamma
Founded in 1978, the British Stammering Association, trading as Stamma, is a national registered charity dedicated to creating a better world for people who stammer. Through its website: stamma.org, helpline and backing of local meetup and self-help groups, Stamma provides information and support for people who stammer and those living, supporting or working with them. Stamma is a membership organisation with members taking an active role in the election of trustees and in the strategic direction of the charity. Registered Charity Numbers 1089967 / SC038866.
Wikipedia is a multilingual online encyclopedia created and maintained as an open collaboration project by a community of volunteer editors using a wiki-based editing system. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the World Wide Web.
VMLY&R is a global brand experience agency that harnesses creativity, technology, and culture to create connected brands. The agency is made up of nearly 7,000 employees worldwide with principal offices in Kansas City, New York, London, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. VMLY&R works with client partners including Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Ford, Diageo, Pfizer and Wendy's. For more information, visit www.vmlyr.com. VMLY&R is a WPP company (NYSE: WPP).
Chief Creative Officer: Laurent Simon
Creative Director: Adam Noel
Creatives: Dan Liakh & Josh Croston
Account Director: Elliot Duck
Strategist: Ollie Chakraverty
Producer: Joseph Walker
Senior Designer: Dominic Frain
Production Company: Scissors & Glue
Director: Chris Daw
Producer: Joseph Walker
VO Artist: Scroobius Pip
Sound Engineer: Aaron Croston
Composer: Dan Liakh
Irish Stammering Association
Jonathon Linklater: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Stuttering Association
Eeva Stierwalt: email@example.com
National Stuttering Association, USA
Australian Speak Easy Association
Vikesh Anand: National President: firstname.lastname@example.org