Flextech to join UKTV in AFP drive

Flextech and UKTV are to make their biggest foray into advertiser-funded programming (AFP) with the creation of a dedicated role to drive the concept.

The broadcasters have poached Claire Heys, head of business development at TV production company Initial. She joins as head of commercial partnerships with a remit to develop advertiser-backed projects.

Heys said she aims to have three such ventures up and running on both Flextech- and UKTV-owned channels within 18 months. She added that she wants to focus on taking AFP to 'prime-time spots of 30 minutes'.

In the role, which the broadcasters claim is a first, Heys will report to Jon James, commercial director at Flextech, and Nick Betts, commercial director at UKTV.

Marketing revealed last week that IKEA is aiming to capitalise on advertiser-funded shows with a six-figure investment in a series of interior design channels set to air on UKTV channels.

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