Class Polish

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

By creative salon

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.”

CREDITS

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

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