Entertainment & Arts

Channel 4 offers £1m in contest for 'positive' gender ads

Channel 4 logo Image copyright Getty Images

Channel 4 is offering £1m in free airtime for a company that comes up with an idea to change the way women are portrayed in TV adverts.

It is running a contest to "challenge engrained stereotypes, objectification and sexualisation of women".

The contest comes as the Advertising Standards Authority plans new rules to ban harmful gender stereotypes.

Channel 4 said it was looking for "an ad that really stands out even from the positive ads we've seen before".

'A catalyst for change'

The broadcaster's head of agency and client sales and commercial marketing, Matt Salmon, said: "There are campaigns already on our screens which represent women in a positive and appropriate manner - but sadly there just aren't enough of them.

"We want a campaign that's a beacon for the issue, an idea that calls out the challenges and makes a really positive statement to our audiences.

"The winning ad shouldn't be representative of what the future 'norm' should be, it should act as a catalyst for the change in mindset we'd like to see within the industry."

Last year, research indicated that 77% of women thought the way they were generally portrayed in advertising was stereotypical.

Separate US research suggested, in ads in the English-speaking world, women were more likely than men to be:

  • younger
  • in revealing clothing
  • in the kitchen

Men, meanwhile, were more likely to be:

  • funny
  • clever
  • at a sporting event

Channel 4's Diversity in Advertising Award is run on a different theme every year in an attempt to improve representation in adverts.

This years choice of the theme of gender comes two months after Channel 4 revealed it had a 24.2% median gender pay gap.

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