We report bis-phenylethynyl amide derivatives as a potent G-quadruplex binding small molecule scaffold. The amide derivatives were efficiently prepared in 3 steps by employing Sonogashira coupling, ester hydrolysis and a chemoselective amide coupling. Ligand-quadruplex recognition has been evaluated using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) melting assay, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), circular dichroism (CD) and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. While most of the G-quadruplex ligands reported so far comprise a planar, aromatic core designed to stack on the terminal tetrads of a G-quadruplex, these compounds are neither polycyclic, nor macrocyclic and have free rotation around the triple bond enabling conformational flexibility. Such molecules show very good binding affinity, excellent quadruplex:duplex selectivity and also promising discrimination between intramolecular promoter quadruplexes. Our results indicate that the recognition of the c-kit2 quadruplex by these ligands is achieved through groove binding, which favors the formation of a parallel conformation.