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Channel 4 offers up £1m of airtime for diverse ads

Channel 4

Channel 4 is offering advertisers £1m worth of its commercial airtime in exchange for an advert that promotes diversity.

It’s part of the broadcaster’s wider commitment to improve diversity in advertising every year until at least 2020.

The competition ran last year with Mars’ now highly acclaimed advert for Malteasers winning the ad space during the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Mars has since revealed that the ad – which featured a disabled woman talking about a date with her friends – have been the brand’s most effective campaign in the last ten years.

However, this year, Channel 4 is encouraging brands to think about how they communicate non-visible disabilities and mental health issues.

“Diversity is the lifeblood of Channel 4 so by creating this annual £1m prize to inspire the best creative brains, we’re hopeful that the industry will rise to the challenges we set them to help encourage a real and lasting change to marketing strategies in the future,” said Jonathan Allan, sales director at Channel 4.

“Non-visible disabilities, in particular mental health, remain taboo subjects and we need to change this – both in our content and between our programmes.

In addition to the £1m award, Channel 4 is offering up to four runners-up match-funded commercial airtime.

A specially selected panel will award the £1m prize to the brand and/or agency judged to have submitted the strongest idea.

The competition opened today(24 May) and entries must be submitted by midnight 27 June.

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