Bing to sponsor The Simpsons on Channel 4

LONDON - Microsoft's search engine Bing has become the new sponsor of 'The Simpsons' on Channel 4 in a three month deal worth more than £500,000.

As part of a bid to drive Bing's share of the search engine market Bing will sponsor 'The Simpsons' show on Channel 4 week nights and Channel 4+1.

Created by Duke & Earl, the idents will be the first time Mircosoft has used sponsorship TV and coincides with 'The Simpsons' 20th anniversary.

'The Simpsons' deal has been planned and bought by Interpublic agency Universal McCann and includes Bing sponsorship credits before and after the episodes, as well as during ad breaks.

The most recent sponsor of 'The Simpsons' show was COI's Change4Life which launched a three month £640,000 sponsorship in October with a creative by M&C Saatchi booked by Manning Gottlieb OMD.

The Bing sponsorship idents aim to be a humorous take on a family using Bing to solve problems.

The accompanying ad campaign, created by JWT London, questions the need for the "information overload", which rival search engines provide. Instead it will promote Bing's ability to provide clear and concise results.

Bing launched in November 2009 as an attempt by Mircrosoft to challenge Google and Yahoo! in the search engine market.

Microsoft has a 4% share of UK searches, the same as Yahoo!, while both are dwarfed by Google's 86%, according to Nielsen Online statistics for January.

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