Channel 4 has shortlisted six brands for its seventh annual Diversity in Advertising prize, which this year urges brands to address the lack of authentic representation of LGBTQIA+ people in advertising.
The six brands and agencies shortlisted for the £1m prize are: Absolut and Ogilvy UK; the AA and The Gate London; Durex and Havas London; E45 and The&Partnership; Bodyform and AMV BBDO; and Snag and Dentsu Creative.
The theme for this year’s prize was chosen after research commissioned by Channel 4 and 4Sales demonstrated that UK brands have stepped back from portraying diversity in advertising after backlash fears.
Earlier this year, Outvertising – which represents LGBTQAI+ practitioners in advertising – reported seeing “apprehension” from brands to continue efforts towards better representation, particularly in light of the backlash Bud Light received following its tie-up with trans model Dylan Mulvaney.
Channel 4’s award challenges brands to be ‘Proud All Over’, referring to the broadcaster’s ongoing Pride campaign which shines a light on how best to be an ally in smaller regional communities. It also urges the industry to focus on promoting diversity outside of the capital, extending its efforts to create a step-change in representation.
It builds on the theme from 2019, which saw Starbucks take home the prize for its ‘What’s Your Name’ campaign featuring a transgender man being able to use his new name when ordering a coffee.
The winning brand will receive £1m of video advertising space across Channel 4’s channels, including linear TV, streaming and YouTube. The winning brand will also be able to work with the broadcaster’s in-house creative studio 4Studio on a companion piece of social branded content – worth a further £100k to the brand.
Ahead of announcing the winner of the 2023 LGBTQIA+ Diversity in Advertising award, Channel 4 has urged UK advertisers to continue their efforts towards increasing diversity.
“For the first time ever, we are actively calling on the industry to follow through with their creative ideas even if they haven’t been shortlisted for the main prize,” says Veriça Djurdjevic, chief revenue officer at Channel 4, and chair of the Diversity In Advertising Award judging panel.
“While this award scheme cannot financially support every campaign, we’re standing by to support brands and creative agencies in whatever way we can, to bring as many of these brilliant LGBTQIA+ campaigns as possible to the nation”.
The winning work will be revealed via 4Sales’ LinkedIn Live channel on the morning of Wednesday, 18 October 2023.
Previous winners of the Diversity in Advertising award have included Vanish and Havas London for a campaign about autism, and Tena and AMV BBDO for a campaign highlighting ageism.