The Drum Awards Festival - Media

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By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

September 9, 2021 | 3 min read

Today (September 10) Channel 4 will only broadcast adverts featuring either a Black lead character or a majority Black cast as part of its ’Black to Front’ project aiming to improve representation in advertising.

”At Channel 4, not only are we committed to reflecting the cultural diversity of Britain in our editorial content, but also in our commercial airtime,” said Verica Djurdjevic, its chief revenue officer.

“We have seen an incredibly strong appetite from brands and agencies to work with us on this ambitious project to help us achieve Channel 4’s biggest cultural intervention ever. We hope that many of these spots will run beyond this day and herald a step-change in behavior and a commitment to a lasting legacy for better representation in the TV advertising industry.”

Direct Line, HSBC and Tesco will kick off the project in a bespoke ad break takeover that premieres in the first break of Celebrity Gogglebox. It will feature three 30-second adverts featuring Black employees from each of the brands, as well as a 10-second Channel 4 branded intro and a 20-second outro explaining the project.

A further 70 campaigns from over 60 brands across 55 linear ad breaks and countless All 4 breaks are set to air throughout the day, while every sponsorship brand partner that is on-air on the day has reviewed or updated their ident creative to ensure it aligns with the day’s ambition.

P&G is also set to participate. Its personal care brand and sales director, Yasmin O’Neal, said: “The Black Lives Matter movement helped show us at P&G that we needed to do better to contribute to anti-racist culture. We are on a mission to drive better representation of Black and mixed heritage people in our marketing and in our workforce.

“This campaign is a celebration of the progress we have made and a reminder of the work still to be done. As the business director for Olay and a woman of mixed heritage myself, I see how impactful it is to have products designed with diversity at the heart. Seeing myself and my community reflected in brand campaigns sends a powerful message to the next generation, letting them know they’re seen and valued.”

Watch some of the main ads below.

Creative Diversity & Inclusion Channel 4

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