2022 Brief: Disability

The Diversity in Advertising Award 2022 tackles a lack of authentic representation and portrayal of disability in advertising

22% of the UK is disabled, but only 4% of ads feature disabled people.

At Channel 4, Disability is a topic that is very close to our heart, and last year we set out a number of commitments to double our workforce disability target and increase on-screen representation by 2023. So this is now our commitment to do the same in the Advertising industry.

Although representation levels of Disabled people in Advertising is slowly on the rise, it still remains incredibly low – with only 4% of ads featuring Disabled people vs 22% of the UK population. And only 1% of ads feature disabled characters playing lead roles.

We want to see more ads featuring disabled people at the heart of their campaign, more ‘everyday ads’ that aren’t all about their condition or impairment and more ads that highlight the breadth of different disabilities.

So, we are looking for brands to come up with a exceptional TV Ad that best features and portrays visible or non-visible disabilities at the heart of their campaign, in a modern, authentic and non-stereotyped way.

But, don’t forget – the competition is all about portrayal of disability, not targeting of a disabled audience, so we’re looking for brands to inspire and educate our audience and the wider population about the realities of visible or non-visible disabilities.

And as always, we want brands to consider some element of intersectionality such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity or age.

Entries Open

29th June 2022

Brands and Agencies are invited to submit a 2-page PDF summarising the creative concept.

Entries Close

24th August 2022

Unless an extension has been agreed (email 4Sales@Channel4.co.uk), all entries must be submitted on this site by 4pm.

Judging Day

13th October 2022

Stage two of the competition requires the shortlisted brands to attend an in-person pitch day with our judging panel.

The Prize

The winner will receive £1million of 4Sales ad value across our linear, VOD and Youtube platforms for their pitched campaign, and an additional £100k bespoke social media campaign produced by our award-winning social content unit, 4Studio.

As with prior years, our five non-winning shortlist will also be offered up to £250k of match funded commercial ad space for the pitched campaigns, meaning the potential total prize pot for 2022 exceeds £2million.

Frequent Questions

In 2016 when we first launched this annual awards initiative, we revealed a theme challenging brands to address disabilities in advertising.

The response was phenomenal and the entries were outstanding, but almost 90% of them focused on missing-limb disabilities.

In our award theme for 2022, we welcome entries that portray disabilities of all kinds – from missing limbs and other physical disabilities, to mental illness, sensory loss and chronic pain.

The reference to ‘Visible and Non-Visible’ is a direct flag that not all disabilities can be seen or understood by sight.

Evidently, as a creative competition, the challenge of portraying a non visible disability through a visual medium like video is a greater challenge, but one we know many brands will embrace.

As there is a level of subjectivity here, we aren’t publishing a full list of what does or doesn’t ‘qualify’ as a disability for this competition – we will leave that decision and justification to the brands and agencies entering.

Unfortunately as judging starts very quickly after the closing date, there isn’t much room to provide extensions to the closing date.

However, we’d always advise reaching out to us at 4Sales@Channel4.co.uk if you are struggling to meet the entry date.

Prior to submitting an entry, you MUST get full and unconditional approval from the key parties involved in your campaign idea.

In the most part, this means that the brand featured must have given approval for the campaign idea to be submitted.

However, if your campaign is solely reliant on commitment from other specific parties – eg a specific charity partner or a specific spokesperson or talent, that approval must also be sought before entry.

If your campaign pitch details partners on whom the idea is not reliant, eg Talent or Charity Partners that could be switched for a number of alternatives, then commitment from these partners is not required at pitch stage.

Take a look at ‘Entry Process’ above for full details, but in short there are two stages.

Stage 1 requires a PDF submission. This is judged by a Channel 4 shortlisting panel against the published criteria.

Stage 2 sees the shortlisted entrants invited to an in-person pitch with our main judging panel. They make the final decision on the winner based on this pitch and how best they feel it answers the brief and fulfils the criteria.

Different entrants choose different approaches in the 2-page entry. Some communicate the concept through description of the proposed campaign, others decide a sample script or imagery is needed. In short, how you choose to communicate your idea is entirely up to you.

 

We’d recommend you take a look at the criteria page listed above. This will give you a good guide on what the shortlisting panel will be looking for in your entry, and we’d suggest you make sure that you address all the criteria in your entry.

 

We strongly advise you read and understand the terms before submitting your entry.

Winners will receive the £1m+ ad value prize and will be expected to begin production of their pitched campaign.

To qualify for the prize, the produced advertisement must reflect the pitched idea, and comply with a number of timing and exclusivity restrictions as detailed in the terms.

The Prize and the Match Fund Prizes are redeemable across the Channel 4 Portfolio between 1st May 2023 and 31st June 2023.

There is the potential, subject to mutual agreement, for these dates to be flexible, pending negotiation with 4Sales.

As part of Channel 4’s efforts to champion sustainable business practices, the winner and any match funding recipients must implement the following commitments when producing the pitched advertisements;

  1. The brand and creative agency involved must be registered (or become registered) as an Ad Net Zero Supporter (run by the Advertising Association).
  2. The advertisements produced must use the Ad Green carbon calculator to measure their carbon footprint with the full and unredacted results shared with Channel 4.
  3. Any carbon produced as a result of making the advertisement must be off-set via https://weareadgreen.org/resources/offset-emissions-from-your-production-activities and receipt must be shared with Channel 4
  4. Unless a similar commitment has already been made, the brand and creative agency commit to develop and implement a long-term plan to reduce their marketing Carbon Footprint and should be shared with Channel 4

No problem – just email us at 4Sales@Channel4.co.uk and we’ll help you out!

View our past winners

Since 2016 we’ve given away over £6million of airtime to advertisers who best respond to our briefs. Check out their award-winning work here!

Winners Gallery

Stay in the loop

Sign up for the latest updates from 4Sales in our weekly newsletter.

Sign up now

2022 Brief: Disability

Enter the 2022 Award

We want to hear your ideas featuring disability in your campaigns - and the best one will win over £1million of ad space - get your entry in now!

Enter now