Channel 4 has been named Brand of the Year by The Marketing Society after the broadcaster behind the Paralympics and the Black To Front Project beat nine other brands.
About 500 guests from across the advertising and media industry attended the Marketing Society’s Annual Dinner and picked the winner via a live, electronic vote at The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square.
The Marketing Society ran the award in partnership with Accenture Interactive and in association with Campaign.
The other nine brands on the shortlist for the award were AstraZeneca, HSBC, Ikea, KFC, Lego, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Octopus Energy and TikTok.
Zaid Al-Qassab, the chief marketing officer and inclusion and diversity director of Channel 4, and Amber Kirby, the marketing director of Channel 4, collected the award, after Pritesh Gadhia, head of Accenture Interactive in the UK & Ireland, revealed the winner.
Al-Qassab said Channel 4’s contribution did not compare to the work of another shortlisted brand, AstraZeneca, in producing the Covid vaccine and he paid tribute to “the doctors, nurses, care workers and hospital porters” involved in the fight against the pandemic.
But he went on to champion the public-service role of Channel 4: “If you are someone who feels marginalised or unlistened to or doesn’t have a voice in society – whether that is because you are from a diverse ethnicity or LGBTQ, or disabled or suffering with mental health, or women going through the menopause, or anything that is marginalised and not talked about – then Channel 4 is here for you.”
Channel 4, which is awaiting the outcome of a Government consultation that is examining whether to privatise the state-owned commercial broadcaster, previously won the prestigious award in 2016.
Sophie Devonshire, the chief executive of The Marketing Society, told guests: “Smart marketing leaders are needed now more than ever to lead the change that is necessary, the innovation and the creativity, the commercial growth and success [for brands].”
Syl Saller, the president of The Marketing Society and former chief marketing officer of Diageo, also presented fellowships to advertising and marketing leaders at the dinner.