Channel 4 diversity award prizes left unclaimed

Finalists in competition have not taken up broadcaster's offer of £250,000 of airtime.

RAF: ad by Engine won award in 2018
RAF: ad by Engine won award in 2018

None of the losing finalists in Channel 4’s £1m annual Diversity in Advertising award have ever taken up the broadcaster’s offer of £250,000 worth of airtime.

Since 2017, the award scheme, now in its fourth year, has offered all finalists a match-funding opportunity from Channel 4, in the hope that all the shortlisted ideas are aired.

Campaign understands that, of the losing finalists, only one has produced work similar to the pitch it submitted as part of the competition. However, it did not qualify for the free ad space as the ad it ran did not match its original pitch idea exactly.

Last month Channel 4 awarded this year’s top prize of £1m of commercial airtime to Starbucks and its agency, Iris. The competition’s theme was LGBT+ representation and stereotyping in advertising. Screwfix and Wavemaker were highly commended. Adam & Eve/DDB was shortlisted for Virgin Media, CALM and Booking.com, alongside Snickers and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, and Coca-Cola and Epoch Design.

Last year the Royal Air Force and its agency, Engine, won the prize. The shortlist included: Cadbury Milk Tray and Elvis; eBay and 72andSunny Amsterdam; and Flybe and McCann Bristol.

In 2017 Lloyds Bank and Adam & Eve/DDB won the award. The shortlist comprised two Grey London entries, with Bose and Marks & Spencer; AMV and BT; GTB and Ford; and Brave and Panasonic. The inaugural competition in 2016 was scooped by Maltesers and AMV.