Grey London and Volvo triumph in Channel 4's £1m diversity competition

Grey London and Volvo UK have won Channel 4's inaugural Diversity in Advertising Award and £1m in free airtime for a campaign focused on non-visible disability.

Maltesers: AMV BBDO's campaign won Channel 4's 'Superhumans Wanted' competition last year
Maltesers: AMV BBDO's campaign won Channel 4's 'Superhumans Wanted' competition last year

Grey's Volvo work beat competition from more than 50 campaign ideas tackling an array of non-visible disabilities, including depression, autism, deafness, Alzheimer’s and obsessive compulsive disorder. Adam & Eve/DDB’s Lloyds Bank entry was highly commended.

In addition to the £1m in free airtime for Volvo, the six runners up (Bose, BT, Ford, Lloyds Bank, Marks & Spencer and Panasonic) have been offered match-funded commercial airtime if they produce the ideas presented to the panel. Volvo's ad will air in the autumn.

The winner was selected by a panel of judges that included Campaign global editor-in-chief Claire Beale and Advertising Association head of strategy Karen Fraser, chaired by Channel 4’s sales director Jonathan Allan.

Allan said: "This is a really important award which I hope will lead to a genuine step change in the advertising industry and see it embrace diversity more widely.

"We set a really tough brief this year – putting non-visible disabilities at the heart of a campaign – and judging from the range, creativity and sheer quality of the finalists’ ideas, there’s a wealth of opportunity for advertisers and their creative teams to explore in this area."

Caroline Pay, Grey London’s joint chief creative officer, added: "Proud does not even begin to describe how we feel about winning this prize. It’s a big deal for Grey London, a big deal for Volvo, but above all else a chance to change the way people with non-visible disabilities are represented in the media."

Grey London has temporarily rebranded as Valenstein & Fatt in honour of its Jewish founders and to raise awareness of diversity.

Earlier this month, Channel 4 revealed its shortlist of five agencies and seven brands for the award, including Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and BT; GTB and Ford; and Brave and Panasonic.

On top of the winning Volvo idea Grey was shortlisted another two times for separate client campaigns for Bose and Marks & Spencer.

The Diversity in Advertising Award follows Channel 4’s "Superhumans Wanted" competition last year, which was won by AMV BBDO and Maltesers for a campaign that challenged perceptions of people with disability.

The ads used humour to change mindsets. The campaign was both widely lauded and commercially successful.

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).