Brave Brand of the Year: will you be voting for Channel 4, The FA, Harvey Nichols or KFC?

Brave Brand of the Year: will you be voting for Channel 4, The FA, Harvey Nichols or KFC?

The shortlist for The Marketing Society Brave Brand of the Year 2018 in association with Campaign, sponsored by IBM iX, was revealed last week.

Brave Brand of the Year, awarded by The Marketing Society’ in association with Campaign and sponsored by IBM iX, celebrates companies that have taken risks in a challenging environment over the past year.

The Marketing Society has announced a shortlist of 20 brands and it is down to Campaign readers to whittle it down to five finalists. Those finalists will then be put to the live vote at The Marketing Society’s annual dinner on Wednesday 14 November.

Vote for your favourite brand here by 5pm on Friday 26 October or tweet using #brandoftheyear.

Here we look at four of the nominees:

Channel 4

Channel 4 exposed some of the hateful attitudes on social media with a campaign that overlaid an entire ad break with the abusive comments that each ad had attracted. Partnering brands including McCain, Mars and Nationwide, Channel 4 confronted the abusers head-on, exposing the nastiness of online hate.

The Football Association

If footballing success was based on winning hearts and minds as opposed to goals, England would have triumphed at 2018’s Fifa World Cup – and topping the team's performance was Gareth Southgate. The FA's decision to appoint an unproven manager whose career was largely defined by a failed penalty in Euro '96 was nothing short of audacious. And it paid off.

Harvey Nichols

What's in a name? For a retail brand, the moniker emblazoned across its storefront is synonymous with all it stands for. So when Harvey Nichols changed its name to Holly Nichols for the whole of September to celebrate women, and invited suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst's granddaughter to smash its store windows, it was undeniably a brave move.


When a fast-food brand runs out of its key ingredient, it could have spelt disaster, but KFC used transparency, humour and a near-profane "FCK" apology to deal with its chicken shortfall. The campaign has gained industry-wide recognition, scooping numerous awards for its exemplary approach to crisis marketing.


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