STAMMA marks International Stammering Awareness Day with joke-infused film

The creative, by VMLY&R, takes a pop at the ludicrousness of some online petitions

By Creative Salon

'Not Just One Day' is a humorous film by VMLY&R amd announces a new petition by STAMMA, the British Stammering Association, to mark International Stammering Awareness Day on October 22nd.

Highlighting the wide disconnect between petitions and solving the world’s biggest problems, the creative follows the inner monologue of someone who doesn’t really believe in petitions. It finds them mostly vague or unrealistic with the one exception being the new petition from STAMMA, which provides a focused and actionable change.

The work was created by teams from both VMLY&R London and London-based film collective Acid News that contained talent who stammer. The film is voiced by a long-standing member of STAMMA, Paul Roberts, who has never been contracted for voiceover work before. 

Between 50 and 70 million people around the world stammer, including the President of the USA. Eight per cent of children will stammer at some point in their lives, and between one and three per cent of adults say that they stammer. Yet in the media stammering is rarely heard. and when it is the person’s stammer is often portrayed in a negative light or to comedic effect. 

"It is time to end the zero visibility of stammering. Until we hear and see people who stammer in the media, people will continue to respond inappropriately when they hear someone stammer. This is a legacy we can't leave our children," said Jane Powell, chief executive, STAMMA 

The petition, which has launched on change.org, is aimed at 11 major media agencies and calls upon them to ensure that people who stammer are represented across all media channels.

“I can’t remember the last time I heard someone stammer in popular culture without it being their defining trait. So, when STAMMA called I got excited. Then, as a man in his mid-twenties, I thought about how much I hate petitions. So we made a film about the overpromise of most petitions... And how the humble and simple ask from STAMMA’s digital piece of paper will actually make a big difference.” added Daniel Liakh, creative, VMLY&R London

In addition to the film, STAMMA has released a series of interviews asking people when was the first or last time they saw someone on TV who stammered, or when they saw someone on TV who wasn’t talking about their own stammer, making it the focus of the conversation. 

Over the next year, STAMMA will track how the media will include disfluent voices in their programming and what efforts they take to ensure that stammering is accounted for in all their recruitment and HR policies.

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