Channel 4 turns spotlight on BAME representation for next Diversity Award

Award focuses on different area of diversity each year and encourages ad industry to embrace inclusive creative campaigns.

Channel 4 turns spotlight on BAME representation for next Diversity Award

Channel 4's annual Diversity in Advertising Award will this year focus on the lack of authentic representation of UK black, Asian and minority ethnic cultures within TV advertising.

The award focuses on a different facet of diversity each year and encourages brands and agencies to embrace inclusive creative campaigns.

This year's award follows research commissioned by 4Sales that analysed 1,000 TV ads over a two-month period and found that BAME cultures were not sufficiently or authentically represented in ads.

The results of a Channel 4 survey of 1,000 people (500 from BAME groups and 500 white), meanwhile, revealed a widely held perception that brands still aren’t doing enough to reflect different cultures in TV advertising, with half (51%) of BAME respondents saying that current TV advertising does not represent different cultures well, and three in five (62%) saying it does not represent black and brown cultures well.

The competition will be judged by a diverse panel of judges, who will award a prize of £1m worth of airtime to the brand and agency considered to have pitched the strongest campaign idea. Five runners-up will each receive £250,000 of match-funded airtime. 

Entries must be submitted by midnight on 30 September via the 4Sales website. The winner and runners-up will be announced in November, with the winning campaign airing on Channel 4 in early 2021.

Previous winners of the award include Maltesers, Lloyds Bank and the RAF.

Most recently, Starbucks UK and its creative agency, Iris London, won the award for "What’s your name", which tells the story of a transgender person trialling their new name.

Leila Siddiqi, associate director of diversity at the IPA, said: “The Channel 4 Annual Diversity award is aspirational for any agency or brand interested in inclusion and creating unstereotyped, authentic creative work – it’s prestigious, progressive and really could not have come at a better time, when the need to change both our culture and our work, with a particular bias to racial equality, is urgent, and small, incremental shifts just won’t cut it.”

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