Vanish wins Channel 4 diversity awards with pitch raising awareness of girls with autism
Channel 4 has crowned Reckitt brand Vanish and its ad agency Havas as the winners of its annual Diversity in Advertising Award, granting them £1m in free commercial airtime.
The Vanish ad was created in partnership with charity Ambitious about Autism
The 2022 brief encouraged brands to invest in an authentic portrayal of people with visible and non-visible disabilities. Channel 4 says that the brand and agency responded with “a powerful and moving idea, created in partnership with charity Ambitious about Autism, to help girls be seen as part of a broader public understanding of autism.”
The awards, now in its seventh year, has grown, with many forward-thinking brands chasing that free airtime and the opportunity to be a leading voice in diversity. It is the first time Channel 4 has revisited the Disability theme since 2016.
Cigdem Yildiz Kurtulus, marketing director, Reckitt Hygiene UK & Ireland, said: “We’re so happy to lead this mission with one of our loved brands, Vanish, with a positive and authentic campaign born out of our brand purpose to make clothes live longer. In doing so, we are delighted to work with Channel 4 to continue improving the representation of people with disabilities, visible or non-visible, in advertising.
“However, we’re very conscious our work needs to go much further and make a real difference beyond our screens, so we’re committed to making this happen at all levels. We are honored to accept this award, in partnership with Havas London.”
Xavier Rees, UK group chief executive officer, Havas Creative, added: “It will be a privilege to partner with Reckitt, one of our largest clients, to spark a much-needed public conversation around autism in girls; a subject that’s incredibly close to my heart.”
Seven brands were shortlisted in the competition: M&S (ODD Mindshare); Limitless Travel (Hearts & Minds); LinkedIn (VCCP); Sure (AMV BBDO); Vanish (Havas London); Moonpig (Creature London); and George at Asda (Impero). These brands are eligible for up to £250k of match-funded commercial airtime.
The ad will be aired early next year. The brief was inspired by research claiming that only 4% of TV adverts in the UK feature disabled people (v 3% in 2020).