First Choice to sponsor third series of I'm a Celebrity...

LONDON - First Choice Holidays is sponsoring the next series of ITV's flagship entertainment programme 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here'.

The deal comprises broadcast sponsorship of all coverage on ITV1 and ITV2, sponsorship of a dedicated website and the exclusive use of interactive coverage and text and premium-rate phone voting services.

First Choice is also extending its broadcast sponsorship to include in-store promotions and viewer competitions. The travel firm becomes the second sponsor for the show -- V energy drink sponsored the second series that was transmitted in April.

Oliver Croom-Johnson negotiated the deal at the sponsorship specialists SPP on behalf of First Choice's media agency Walker Media. The deal is worth more than £1m.

The second series saw Phil Tufnell crowned King of the Jungle and attracted audiences of 9.5m with a 39% share of viewers. It was particularly popular with younger audiences -- the series peaked with a 44% share among adults aged 16 to 34.

"We believe this deal will provide a platform for a powerful, coordinated marketing campaign supporting First Choice and will significantly build brand awareness in 2004. In addition, we plan to use the activity to broaden customers' perceptions of First Choice, now that it is our main brand for our chain of 320 travel agents and our airline, as well as our main holiday brand," Sam Turnbull, marketing director at First Choice, said.

The two-week series is yet to be scheduled but will take place at the beginning of next year.

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