Channel 4 has announced the six brands shortlisted to win £1 million of commercial airtime via the Diversity in Advertising Award, which this year focuses on the portrayal of women in advertising.
The six shortlisted brands and agencies, chosen from more than 50 entries, are: Cadbury Milk Tray and Elvis Communications; eBay and 72 & Sunny Amsterdam; Flybe and McCANN Bristol; HSBC and Grey London; Jaguar and Spark44; and the Royal Air Force and Engine.
The award aims to encourage the advertising industry to embrace inclusive campaigns, extending Channel 4’s leadership in diversity beyond its editorial output and into the ad breaks.
The focus on the portrayal of women in advertising comes in a year that has seen a spotlight turned on the gender pay gap, the flourishing of the #MeToo movement, and the celebration of 100 years since the first women won the right to vote. Channel 4 invited agencies to create a campaign which challenged ingrained stereotypes and the objectification and sexualisation of women.
Channel 4’s Head of Agency & Client Sales and Commercial Marketing Matt Salmon said: “Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at Channel 4 and 4Sales is determined to lead change within the advertising industry. Previous award winners have shown that embracing diversity not only leads to more creativity it also makes business sense, boosting sales and ultimately profits.
“We’ve been blown away by the quantity and quality of entries with some fantastic campaign ideas from a really eclectic range of brands. I’m sure the judges will face a tough challenge determining which campaign deserves to win £1 million worth of commercial airtime.”
The finalists will present their campaign ideas to the judging panel on 20th September at Channel 4’s Plannertarium event. The winning entry will be announced on 28th September. In addition to the £1m award, all shortlisted entries will be offered match-funded commercial airtime.
In 2016 the competition focused on improving the representation of disability and was won by Mars and AMV for their Maltesers campaign. In 2017 the focus was on non-visible disabilities and was won by Lloyds Bank’s #GetTheInsideOut campaign on mental health.