Scope and ITV hard-hitting ‘Cost of Breathing Crisis’ campaign will air today - after pair turn charity challenge into reality


Scope and ITV hard-hitting ‘Cost of Breathing Crisis’ campaign will air today - after pair turn charity challenge into reality

·  New advert for Scope, produced by ITV Creative and running in ITV gifted airtime, inspired by thousands of calls to charity’s helpline will broadcast today (9.5.23)

·  Campaign developed from ITV Creative’s winning entry into 2022’s Promax Charity Challenge

·  Ad highlights how Scope is supporting disabled people who are being hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis

·  Disabled people who rely on energy to move around, speak and breathe risk losing their independence, health and wellbeing

·  1 in 4 Scope callers who rely on medical equipment have had to switch it off to save money 

The disability equality charity Scope has teamed up with ITV for a powerful new ad campaign, highlighting how disabled people are being hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis. 

The advert is to air throughout May and June from today, including during tonight’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. It features 6 disabled actors, in scenarios inspired by the thousands of devastating stories Scope has heard from disabled people during the cost-of-living crisis.

It shows disabled people relying on electrical equipment such as CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machines to breathe, hoists to get in and out of bed, and communication devices to speak. 

The advert will be one of a handful of accessible TV ads, with full captions and the option of audio descriptions.

The advert was also cast and shot with accessibility at the forefront. Measures taken included:

·  ensuring the set location was accessible

·  providing a quiet room, accessible toilet and changing area

·  providing bespoke transport for each actor according to their needs

·  limiting actors’ time on set to avoid fatigue

·  having a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter available on the day

The campaign has been made into a reality after ITV’s winning entry into the Promax UK Charity Challenge 2022, for which Scope was the charity partner.

The challenge was launched in 2003 by Promax, the industry community for television marketing and creative. Companies pitched their concepts and campaign ideas to Promax UK judges and Scope.

The advert launching today is ITV’s second creative collaboration with Scope, following a campaign to help further understanding of invisible disabilities in 2022. The on-air campaign from 2022, which featured ITV talent including Chase star Paul Sinha, author and TV personality Katie Piper, actress and Loose Woman Kelle Bryan and Real Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya Bardsley, demonstrated ITV’s commitment to helping create culture change around disability perception and representation.

The Cost of Breathing campaign will also feature on billboards across the UK throughout May, thanks to further pro-bono support from the outdoor advertising company Clear Channel UK.

Scope is publishing new data today showing:

·  The charity’s advice helplines have supported almost 38,000 disabled people over the past year [1]

·  Scope’s Disability Energy Support Service has saved disabled people almost £2million over the past year through advice and support [2]

·  2 in 5 callers to Scope’s helpline have medical equipment [3] 

·  1 in 4 (23 per cent) of those have had to switch that medical equipment off to cut costs [4]

·  More than a third (38%) of callers to Scope’s energy helpline are in energy debt – on average by £1023 [5]

Scope’s latest ‘Disability Price Tag’ analysis, published last month, found on average disabled households need an additional £975 a month to have the same standard of living as non-disabled households - creating an enormous gulf in living standards. [6]

Paul Fuller, executive director of partnerships at disability equality charity Scope, said:

“The Promax UK awards celebrate British television, marketing, promotion, brand and design. They invited Scope to create the brief for their 'Charity Challenge' 2022. Scope wanted to raise public awareness on the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis and how it is disproportionally affecting disabled people and their families.

“The competition had many strong entries from across the media sector. The judges were blown away by the talent, passion and empathy of the entry pitches.

“ITV were chosen as the overall winners of the charity challenge.

“We’re so grateful to ITV for agreeing to work with Scope over the past few months to turn their brilliant competition entry into a real campaign and then to generously provide airtime too. We hope it will resonate with millions of ITV viewers.

“We are also delighted to be collaborating with Clear Channel, who are supporting in amplifying this campaign across their UK out of home advertising space. Their support is also hugely appreciated.

“Life costs a lot more when you’re disabled. The energy crisis has been tough for us all, but for disabled people it can be about the cost of breathing, or the cost of speaking or moving.

“We hope this advert will highlight this, as well as letting disabled people who are facing difficulties know that Scope is here to help."

Susie Braun, ITV’s Director of Social Purpose said:

"As a public service broadcaster, ITV has been shining a light on the cost of living crisis and supporting the British public in navigating it across our content. Our partnership with Scope seeks to highlight the support available to disabled people who are dealing with the life-changing impact of additional increased costs. We're delighted to partner with Scope once again on such an important initiative."

Charlie Cooper Henniker, Charity Challenge Director at Promax UK:

"Partnering with Scope for this year's Promax UK Charity Challenge was a hugely positive experience, and their willingness to engage wholeheartedly with every aspect of the process was a real boost for the creative teams pitching their ideas.

 “From initial brief right through to co-development of the final spot, Scope were on hand to collaborate and guide Promax UK, ITV and the various partners involved. Great work like this only happens when everyone goes above and beyond, and this was definitely the case for the Charity Challenge in 2022.

 “We are really proud of the resulting campaign and hope it contributes to the success of this incredible charity and all they do."

Alistair Cox, Head of Reach Portfolio and Co-Captain of the People with Disabilities Crew (ERG) at Clear Channel UK:

“At Clear Channel, we’ve been looking into ways to better support our colleagues with disabilities, and we’re delighted to partner with Scope to help us on this journey.

“As part of this new partnership, we’re supporting their latest campaign that highlights the additional complexities faced by disabled people in the wider world.

“By using the power of Out of Home advertising to amplify this message, we hope that we can help raise awareness of the great work Scope are doing.” 




1. In 2022/2023, 37,790 customers were provided with support or advice through Scope’s helpline and Disability Energy Support Service.

2. Between April 2022 and March 2023, Scope’s DES service estimates its customers have saved £1,929,868.16 through advice and support with their energy bills figures based on 8680 referrals.

3, 4, 5. Figures from Scope’s Disability Energy Support Service from the period August 2022 to March 2023. Based on 627 appointments.

6. From Scope’s Disability Price Tag, April 2023. Figure based on Scope analysis of the Family Resources Survey 2019/20.

About Scope:

We’re Scope and we want equality for disabled people. We provide practical and emotional information and support when it’s needed most and we campaign relentlessly to create a fairer society.

About ITV Social Purpose:

ITV entertains and connects with millions of people globally, reflecting and shaping culture with brilliant content and creativity. Reflecting and shaping the world we live in gives us a great opportunity: to change ITV for the better, and to use our content to reach and inspire positive change in the wider world. This is ITV's Social Purpose - shaping culture for good. We do this across four focus areas: Better Mental and Physical Health, Diversity & Inclusion, Climate Action and Giving Back.

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