Department for Opportunities launches campaign To highlight Class Pay Gap
Created by Creature, the campaign highlights research showing the imbalance between working and middle class wages
01 November 2021
The Department for Opportunities – the Social Mobility Foundation's advocacy and campaigning arm – is calling on employers and the UK government to measure, report and close the Class Pay Gap with a campaign by Creature.
Workplace classism often hides in euphemism – with employers describing middle-class employees as having more “polish” than their working-class peers. This so-called “polish” can justify the Class Pay Gap in some employers’ eyes.
Creature has created an integrated campaign for fictional product, “Class Polish”, to highlight the idea that accent has any correlation with ability. It launches with a film starring comedian Fern Brady, supported with impactful OOH and print inspired by the packaging design.
Class Polish is being sent to influential figures in government, business and media to campaign for action. The film will be supported by Cinema, TV and social throughout November.
Dan Cullen-Shute, chief executive at Creature, said: “At Creature, we want to leave the industry better than we found it, and we firmly believe that tackling social mobility is at the heart of that. So, it’s been a genuine honour to work with the Department for Opportunities on this project. The Class Pay Gap is real, and it’s incredibly damaging, and it needs to be closed. We’re proud to be part of a campaign to help do just that.”
Adi Hussain, junior creative at Creature, added: “Classism in the workplace is such a complicated problem, and we needed a simple creative solution: something that wrapped everything up in a way that made immediate sense. That’s where ‘class polish’ came in. Inspired in part by the BBC documentary, How to Break into the Elite, we took the fact that employers often claim people from working class backgrounds ‘lack polish’ and ran with it.”
Sarah Atkinson, chief executive of the Department for Opportunities and Social Mobility Foundation said: “The Class Pay Gap is something most people won’t know realise exists – but it does, and we should be outraged. In 2021 what your parents did and where you grew up should not determine your opportunities. Employers should value performance over polish.
We hope the launch of our #ClassPolish campaign will help buffer out workplace classism by getting employers to measure, report and close their class pay gap.
Many people will have experienced classism in the workplace, and we encourage you to sign our petition to government and share your stories. You can also submit them via www.classpolish.com.”
Chief Creative Officers: Ben Middleton & Stu Outhwaite-Noel
Associate Creative Director: John Osborne
Creatives: John Osborne & Adi Hussain
Design Director: Tim Green
Designer: Elspeth Watson
Integrated Producer: Lilly Alter
Strategist: Jenika Hadipour
Chief Executive Officer: Dan Cullen-Shute
New Business & Marketing Director: Kelly Taylor
Talent: Fern Brady
Director: Hannah Berry George
Production: Mad Cow Films
Producer: Olivia Lynch
Executive Producer: Pete Chambers
Head of Content: Harry Moore
DOP: Adam Singodia
1st AD: Sophie Kenny
Gaffer: Esteban Gimpelewicz
Art Director: Emily England
Hair & Make Up: Emily Newson
Wardrobe: Lynne McKenna
Sound Recordist: Jack Cook
Offline Editor: Samuel Marr
Grade: Alex Gregory @ No.8
Online Editor: George Hayward
Sound Designer: Jack Maltby
Jingle: Theodore Pagano
Production Manager: Tane Stevens
Production Coordinator: Nelta Kasparian
Runner: Misha Etim
Photographer: Cormac Banks
Screenprinter: T-Shirt Dave