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David Brent creator Gervais to star in disability ads

LONDON - Ricky Gervais, star of BBC hit comedy 'The Office', is to play a David Brent-type character in a cinema advertising campaign promoting jobability.com, the recruitment job site for people with disabilities.

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Created by advertising agency edge<, the advertisement tackles the prejudices disabled people face when looking for a new job.

The commercial shows the bigoted Brent-type character initially expressing his willingness to hire a disabled person, only to keep coming up with ridiculous reasons why they would not fit into the workplace.

The choice of Gervais to front the campaign follows the last series of 'The Office', which featured a disabled member of staff.

According to Gervais, said: "It was a conscious decision to include a disabled character in the second series of 'The Office'. The Brent-Meister General's world of fake PC was an ideal environment in which to explore this territory."

The ads highlight the misconception that many employers have of the types of roles that candidates could fill.

The ads, which break on December 20, will be placed around forthcoming movies 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' in December and 'Gangs of New York' in January.

Gervais wrote and directed the ad, which was produced by Trumpet. The original idea for the ad was conceived by edge< creative director Robert Jebb.

The same crew involved in 'The Office' also provided sound, props, and make-up for the ad.

Edge< was formed by the former Saatchi & Saatchi managing director and Leagas Delaney founder, Ron Leagas, to provide brand consultancy, advertising, direct marketing and design services.

Launched in March, Jobability.com carries 1,000 job vacancies and attracts around 5,000 users a month. It is a joint venture between disability charity Leonard Cheshire, Microsoft and recruitment site Totaljobs.com.

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