E45 and The&Partnership win Channel 4’s £1 million Diversity In Advertising Award

Category: News Release
  • E45 and The&Partnership win after six finalists pitch their campaign ideas to a judging panel
  • This year’s award challenged UK advertisers on the portrayal of LGBTQIA+ after 4Sales commissioned research revealed brands have stepped back over backlash fears
  • Channel 4 calls on for all the finalists to take up the broadcaster’s offer of £250,00 air time match funding  

The brand E45 and its agency The&Partnership have been selected as the winning campaign of Channel 4’s £1 million 2023 Diversity in Advertising Award.

The campaign was chosen from six finalists who rose to the challenge to address the lack of authentic representation of LGBTQIA+ communities in TV advertising across the UK.

A panel of 13, which included leaders from the advertising industry as well as people from the LGBTQI+ community, selected E45 and The&Partnership’s campaign pitch from the shortlisted finalists.

The campaign will now be produced and broadcast in 2024 and will receive £1 million worth of free advertising space across Channel 4’s portfolio. It will also include an additional £100,000 worth of social media value consisting of £40,000 worth of social production from Channel 4’s in-house digital content creation department, 4Studio, and £60,000 worth of exposure on Channel 4’s social media channels.

This year’s theme came after industry-leading insight commissioned by Channel 4 and 4Sales revealed brands had actively stepped back from portraying LGBTQIA+ communities after becoming apprehensive about promoting campaigns through fear of backlash.

Channel 4 Chief Revenue Officer Veriça Djurdjevic and chair of the Diversity In Advertising Award judging panel said: 

“The quality of the campaigns in this year’s awards was simply astounding probably the strongest entries we’ve ever had. The brands and their agencies gave the judging panel a wonderful problem but E45 and The&Partnership just edged it and I cannot wait to see their campaign come to fruition and see the impact it has.

“There was a real sense from the judges that we would love to see all the ideas make it to air. I’d urge all the finalists to follow through with their pitches and make their campaigns a reality, and take us up on our offer of match funding.”

The five runners up - Absolut (Ogilvy UK); The AA (The Gate London); Durex (Havas London); Bodyform (AMV BBDO); Snag (Dentsu Creative) - are offered the opportunity to secure match funding to get their entries on air. Channel 4 will match-fund airtime and digital and VOD Advertising investments up to £250,000. 

The annual Channel 4 Diversity in Advertising Award has so far given away more than £8 million worth of commercial airtime. Previous themes have focused on disability, mental health, ethnicity and the portrayal of women in the media.

The judging panel included returning judges from the Advertising Association, the IPA, Thinkbox, ISBA and 4Creative. Providing authentic, lived experience and insight into this year’s theme, the panel also included asexual activist Yasmin Benoit plus representatives from Outvertising, charity Not A Phase and Channel 4’s LGBT+ staff network, 4Pride. The panel included Jack Rourke, the creator of hit Channel 4 comedy series, Big Boys.

The winning brand will be revealed in an announcement broadcast via 4Sales’ LinkedIn Live channel on the morning of Wednesday 18th October 2023 at 10am which can be watched here