Coca-Cola, Virgin Media and Snickers among finalists for Channel 4 diversity award

Annual award offers £1m worth of free commercial airtime.

The Royal Air Force: it picked up the prize last year with Engine
The Royal Air Force: it picked up the prize last year with Engine

Channel 4 has unveiled a shortlist of seven finalists for its 2019 Diversity in Advertising Award, which this year focuses on the lack of representation and stereotyping of the LGBT+ community.

The broadcaster received nearly 40 entries, whittling these down to seven finalists, including three entries for Adam & Eve/DDB. The finalists are: 

  • Booking.com and Adam & Eve/DDB
  • Calm and Adam & Eve/DDB
  • Coca-Cola and Epoch Design
  • Screwfix and Wavemaker UK
  • Snickers and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 
  • Starbucks UK and Iris London
  • Virgin Media and Adam & Eve/DDB

The award aims to encourage the advertising industry to produce more inclusive campaigns. The LGBT+ focus for this year's award comes on the back of research from Channel 4’s sales house, 4Sales, into diversity representation in TV ads. It showed that LGBT+ people hardly appear in adverts and can be stereotyped or portrayed negatively.

The finalists will present their campaign ideas to the judging panel on 17 September at Channel 4. In addition to the £1m award, all shortlisted entries will be offered match-funded commercial airtime up to a maximum of £250,000.

Previous Diversity in Advertising Awards have focused on the portrayal of disability, mental health and women. The Royal Air Force and Engine won last year's award.

Matt Salmon, Channel 4’s head of agency and client sales and commercial marketing, said: "Diversity and inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes commercial sense as proven by previous award winners who have shown that embracing diversity not only leads to more creativity, it helps boost sales and ultimately profits."

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