General Mills commissions Old El Paso series

Old El Paso, the General Mills food brand, is moving into advertiser-funded programming.

The brand has commissioned UKTV Food to make a TV series and support advertorials. The series, Gino D'Acampo: An Italian in Mexico, launches on UKTV Food on 3 October.

Old El Paso's aim is to promote Mexican foods to a UK audience and to convince viewers that it is easy to make and that not all of it is spicy.

UKTV retained full edit-orial control of the content. The deal was negotiated by Elaine Goulden and Phil Cresswell at Universal McCann and Claire Heys of UKTV and Guy Martin of IDS, UKTV's sales house. Red Door produced the series and BBC Broadcast created the advertorials.

The advertorials will back the programme content by educating viewers about the Old El Paso product range. The brand has invested a six-figure sum in the activity.

Linda Hipkiss, the marketing director at General Mills UK, said: "We pride ourselves on taking an inventive category-leadership approach to our marketing campaigns and that's why we've entered the advertiser-funded programming area. We see this as an opportunity to enhance consumer understanding of Old El Paso and Mexican food among a core target audience of food enthusiasts."

Creswell said: "We are delighted to have worked with such able partners on this project and believe that the benefits for our client will cross not only local media boundaries, but will also provide a platform in other markets outside the UK."

Old El Paso chose to partner with UKTV Food because it claims to attract people who are interested in creating their own food at home.