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5 Black Businesses Make TV Debut In Channel 4’s Black In Business Initiative | LBBOnline

Five Black-owned businesses are set to benefit from free TV advertising worth more than half a million pounds, as part of Channel 4’s award winning Black In Business initiative in partnership with Lloyds Bank.

Starting today (15th January) and continuing through to Spring, bespoke adverts made with the businesses by Channel 4 will feature across its platforms. Each 30-second commercial stars the business founder alongside comedian Judi Love. 

Last September, The Gym Kitchen, Treasure Tress, Dalgety Herbal Teas, The Turmeric Co and LØCI were revealed to have been successful from over 1,000 applicants from across the country to receive support from the Black In Business initiative.

In addition to each receiving £100,000 worth of airtime and a TV advert made for them, the five business owners also had six months of tailored marketing and business support from Channel 4, Lloyds Bank and social enterprise, DOES.

Black in Business attracted a wide range of applicants, with one in five (22%) businesses generating more than £100k in turnover and three per cent exceeding more than £1m in turnover.

The initiative offers support to small businesses new to TV advertising and follows research commissioned by Channel 4 Sales – Black Owned Businesses: The UK’s Untapped Business Potential – which revealed Black entrepreneurs face more obstacles setting up and running their businesses than their white counterparts. In addition, the Black. British. In Business and Proud Report from the Black Business Network (BBN) sponsored by Lloyds Bank, reveals that nearly half (49%) of Black entrepreneurs say they need marketing and PR support, and 20% stated they need help to find new clients.

Black in Business, launched in partnership with Lloyds Bank, forms part of Channel 4’s Black to Front legacy – the public service broadcaster’s ongoing commitment to improve Black representation on-screen and more widely in the TV industry.

Clare Peters, client strategy and communications partner, Channel 4 said, “Channel 4 is proud to provide a platform for Black Businesses in the UK. We hope this initiative also prompts action across the industry to improve opportunities for all under-represented entrepreneurs and business owners. TV is the most effective way to build a brand and we’re looking forward to working with these small British businesses to help them embrace the power of TV to talk to new consumers.”

AV Manager, Maria St Louis, Channel 4 added, “Channel 4 has fully supported my vision of empowering Black Owned Businesses through TV Advertising, in a way that makes me very proud to work for the only UK broadcaster that exists to promote diversity and consistently demonstrates how positive change can take place. This is the beginning of a long-term goal of supporting Black entrepreneurs, which is also a commitment from Channel 4 in supporting entrepreneurship within its business. I’m also proud of each of the businesses, which are all amazing in their own unique way – I’m truly excited for the journey ahead.”

Elyn Corfield, CEO, business and commercial banking, Lloyds Banking Group said, Lloyds Bank is proud to be shining a light on remarkable Black-owned businesses. Each commercial is not just a showcase of entrepreneurship, it’s a celebration of innovation, creativity, resilience and passion. This is more than advertising; it’s about creating impactful narratives and driving meaningful change where it’s needed.”

The winning adverts and on-air dates include:

  • The Gym Kitchen: 15th January – 25th February

Founded by Segun Akinwoleola, The Gym Kitchen aims to make clean eating affordable, accessible and tasty through a range of healthy meals, pizzas and grain pouches.

Starting with a shot of a delicious chicken curry coming out of the microwave, the advert cuts to Segun sitting on a director’s chair in a production studio explaining the nutritional benefits of the Gym Kitchen’s meals.  He’s then interrupted by a phone call from Judi Love, who is getting ready in her dressing room, to tell Segun how much she loves Gym Kitchen’s food and asks for the recipe. It ends with a top-down shot of the clean eating company’s colourful product line with Judi grabbing the banoffee pie yogurt at the end!

Segun Akinwoleola said, “I am extremely privileged being a beneficiary of the Black in Business Initiative, black owned brands aren’t commonly seen/ featured on TV. As a brand sold in supermarkets TV gives us the opportunity to reach an extremely broad audience with the ability to grow the brand significantly.”

  • Treasure Tress: 29th January – 15th March

Treasure Tress, founded by Jamelia Donaldson, is the UK and Europe’s largest monthly product discovery box for curly / kinky hair types, providing convenient and affordable ways for those with naturally textured hair to discover new hair products that work for their unique hair needs.

“Listen! Hair day does not need to be complex… so we simplified it” – proclaims founder Jamelia as she sits in pink-lit studio at the start of the ad. The clip cuts to a surreal bathroom scene of Judi sectioning the hair of a child as she tries to get the last drop of hair product out of an empty bottle. Suddenly a Treasure Tress box appears on the child’s lap. Jamelia then explains the convenience of the monthly discovery box as she’s surrounded by smiling people with different hair types in the studio.

Treasure Tress adds, “From the outset, Treasure Tress has championed representation, especially for those with textured hair often side-lined in an industry where straight hair is deemed the beauty norm. Our debut TV ad aims to reach and empower those excluded by mainstream beauty ideals, offering a moment of recognition within an industry that traditionally upholds straight hair as the standard of beauty.”

  • Dalgety Herbal Teas: 12th February – 31st March

Dalgety Herbal Teas, founded by Mark Dalgety, manufactures 100% natural, strong-flavoured herbal teas while promoting positive social and economic impact to small farming communities in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

The feel-good advert begins with founder Mark wheeling a crate of tea into a colourful studio then explains that they have a herbal tea for every moment before cutting to Judi, who is lounging on a mock-up beach and sipping on a cuppa. She relaxes as she compares the tea to the strength of the Caribbean sun then asks “wait…who drinks tea on a beach?”. The scene ends with Mark saying that the tea is so good that you can drink it anywhere!  

Dalgety Teas says, “This is the biggest opportunity Dalgety Teas has ever had and we are truly thankful to Channel 4 and Lloyds Bank. A national TV campaign gives us a platform to be introduced to new audiences, who previously will not have heard of Dalgety Teas. Currently, the UK supermarkets only stock our Teas in the world food aisle, by having a national TV campaign we would hope we can progress to having our teas stocked in the tea section, where we should be.”

  • The Turmeric Co: 19th February – 24th March

Inspired by the homemade formula that saved Thomas Robson-Kanu’s footballing career after injury, The Turmeric Co promotes effective, functional nutrition to all through clinically backed turmeric shots that aid recovery, immunity, performance and energy. 

The advert starts with founder Thomas in an orange-lit studio explaining how he owes his football success to turmeric. He is cut short as energetic music chimes in and we’re introduced to Judi in a deconstructed ‘food lab’, sporting a lab coat and bejewelled goggles. She picks up a bottle of the Turmeric shot and explains the nutritional benefits of it.  The ad ends with Thomas and Judi toasting each other and taking a sip of the drink.

The Turmeric Co comments, “By showing our products on screens across the UK, this initiative truly empowers Black-owned businesses to make their mark. This ad will build awareness around our game-changing turmeric blends and help us to highlight the power of natural functional nutrition.”

  • LØCI: 1st March – 14th April

LØCI is an ethical fashion brand from co-founders Emmanuel Eribo, Philippe Homsy, Mark Quaradeghini and Frank Eribo delivering vegan / sustainable trainers made of recycled bamboo, foam and rubber.

Starting with a voiceover of Judi talking about the fashion brand’s mission, the advert has a minimal and refined aesthetic, focusing on stylised lighting and intentional propping. LØCI’s signature sneakers are the star of the show as they’re shown in different scenes including being displayed on a plinth; an artist painting on them; and a musician wearing them as she plays guitar. It ends with Judi wearing a casual pant suit with the sneakers before cutting to a group portrait of Frank, Judi and others from LØCI’s community.

LØCI mentioned, “We are thrilled to be part of the Channel 4 BIB initiative, TV is an important channel to tell our brand story in a visually exciting manner to targeted audience across the UK.”

Channel 4 is committed to increasing representation on screen and behind the camera, encouraging greater inclusion, and ensuring that portrayal within our programmes is authentic, challenges stereotypes and reflects the lives of everyone living in Britain today. The Black In Business adverts were created by a diverse crew from Channel 4 and Black owned production company, Quiet Storm, to ensure authenticity and reflect diverse perspectives.

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