C4's diversity award to tackle LGBT+ representation in ads
Channel 4 has announced that its Diversity in Advertising Award will this year focus on the lack of representation and stereotyping of the LGBT+ community in UK ad campaigns.
The annual award highlights a different area of diversity each year and encourages the ad industry to embrace inclusive campaigns, with £1 million worth of commercial airtime on offer to the winning brand or agency.
Launched during 4Sales' Upfronts today, this year's award will go to a campaign which puts people from the LGBT+ community at its heart - without being "tokenistic".
"Channel 4 is determined to drive change in this area and we particularly want to challenge advertisers to up their games in the representation of people from the LGBT+ community," said Matt Salmon, the broadcaster's head of agency and client sales.
"Despite the lip service paid to diversity, there's still a long way to go before we have authentic representation in television ads."
To coincide with the announcement, 4Sales commissioned a YouGov study into diversity representation within TV ads and found that although the LGBT+ community makes up at least 6% of the UK population, it was featured in just 3% of 1,000 TV ads analysed over a two-month period.
A subsequent quantitative survey of 2,000 adults found that 60% felt that when the LGBT+ community did appear in ads, it was represented in a negative way, often in supporting, stereotypical roles.
The annual Diversity in Advertising Award has so far given away £3 million worth of commercial airtime. Previous winners have focused on disability, mental health and the portrayal of women in the media.
Channel 4 will also offer to match-fund a maximum of four runners-up’s campaigns to the amount of £250k.