Channel 4 nets first product placement deal

Channel 4 has agreed its first product placement deal, with high street retailer New Look, which will supply clothes to a new ad-funded show on youth-focused strand T4 this summer.

New Look: signs product placement deal with C4
New Look: signs product placement deal with C4

The programme is being produced by Twofour in partnership with Monterosa, and creative agency Mother. The brand's media agency Trinity Communications is also involved.

Each week the show will visit a different town and pick out the most stylish girls in the street. The presenters will then choose two of them to style a catwalk show, to be judged by T4 viewers in a live vote.

During the course of the series viewers can also create their own outfits, some of which will be modelled in the show. The weekly winners will go through to a national final to win the chance to become a stylist for New Look.

As part of the deal New Look clothes will be featured in the show and on the catwalk, as long as they are editorially justified, which would not have been allowed before the rules on product placement were relaxed on 28 February.

Nick Cross, group chief marketing officer at New Look, said: "We are always looking for innovative ways to fuel our customers' excitement for fashion. Working alongside Channel 4, Twofour, Mother and Monterosa we are creating pioneering entertainment which is a celebration of 'real–time' fashion as it's lived on the high street.

"Our customers are a generation who do not delineate their online lives from their interests in the real world – so this is a natural next step in how brands can engage their audiences in the most immediate, relevant and exciting way possible."

Matt Hardisty, joint head of strategy at Mother, said: "The show is a clear demonstration of our commitment to creating entertainment, alongside advertising, to engage our audience."

Last week Sky signed the first combined product placement and sponsorship partnership with TRESemmé for Irish and British versions of 'Next Top Model’.

However, David Charlesworth, Channel 4's head of sponsorship, placement and funded content, said the New Look activity was one of the "first" collaborations between broadcaster, creative agency and production house.

Charlesworth said: "Having always maintained that product placement will be integral to squaring the circle of measurable value within the funded content arena, we're pleased to demonstrate such an innovative approach."

The first product placement deal to be announced was for the introduction of a Dolce Gusto coffee machine on to the set of the ITV1 daytime show 'This Morning', on the day the rules were relaxed.