Channel 4's next Diversity in Advertising Award focuses on LGBT+ representation

Annual award offers £1m worth of commercial airtime.

RAF: won last year's award
RAF: won last year's award

Channel 4 will give its next Diversity in Advertising Award to a creative idea that tackles the stereotyping and lack of representation of LGBT+ people.

The brief comes in the wake of a study commissoned by 4Sales, Channel 4's sales house, that analysed 1,000 TV ads over a two-month period to see how minority groups are portrayed.

Results showed that LGBT+ people hardly appear and can be stereotyped or portrayed negatively. Channel 4 is challenging brands and creative agencies to develop a campaign that puts LGBT+ communities at the heart of their advertising without being tokenistic.

Matt Salmon, Channel 4’s head of agency and client sales, said: "Our study, and the focus groups we conducted alongside it, showed that despite the lip service paid to diversity, there’s still a long way to go before we have authentic representation in television ads. 

"Channel 4 is determined to drive change in this area and we particularly want to challenge advertisers to up their game in the representation of people from the LGBT+ community."

Previous Diversity in Advertising Awards have focused on the portrayal of disability, mental health and women. The Royal Air Force and its agency, Engine, won last year's award. The winner receives £1m worth of commercial airtime. 

The competition was launched today (5 June) at 4Sales’ upfront event. The deadline for this year's entry is 10 July. Runners-up will be offered match-funded commercial airtime. 

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