Channel 4 asks advertisers to portray black and ethnic culture 'authentically' in next Diversity award

Annual competition awarding free airtime to winner is open for entries

Published On
Aug 24, 2020

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The U.K.'s Channel 4 is looking to highlight the lack of authentic representation of BAME (black and ethnic minority) cultures in its Diversity in Advertising Award for this year, which is now open for entries.

The broadcaster says its own commissioned research found there was a "universal lack of authentic portrayal in TV advertising of people from all BAME communities, their backgrounds, lives and cultures." More than half (51 percent) of BAME people said current TV advertising does not represent different cultures well while two thirds (62 percent) said that current TV advertising does not represent black and brown culture well. 64 percent said they would feel more positive about any brand that showcases different cultures in their advertising, while 49 percent of white people also felt the same. 

Advertisers and agencies are asked to submit campaign pitches and the winner of the award will be announced in 2021. As in previous years, the winning campaign will be awarded £1 million of Channel 4 commercial airtime. Previous years have seen the broadcaster highlight themes of disability, mental health, sexism and LGBT issues, won respectively by Maltesers, Lloyds Bank, the Royal Air Force and this year, Starbucks

“We know that the term BAME is imperfect, covering a range of different experiences and that the issues of representation and inclusion for different BAME communities are not homogenous," commented Matt Salmon, sales director, Channel 4. "However, the lack of authenticity and mis-representation in the portrayal of BAME cultures in TV advertising is universal and our research shows that the industry isn’t moving fast enough on this issue."