Gervais podcasts to be backed by online ad campaign

LONDON - Content firm has appointed digital agency Play to develop an interactive advertising campaign to promote the second series of 'The Ricky Gervais Show' podcast.

The advertising campaign will run across a range of portals and networks and is likely to feature excerpts from the new series. Fans can hear samples of the show at has obtained an exclusive licence for the second series of the show, which ran on Guardian Unlimited. Downloads of series one, which was podcast free, exceeded 3m. Series two will consist of a minimum of four half-hour shows, each costing 95p to download, or £3.75 for all four shows. All 12 episodes of series one will be available for £2.95.

The first online series, which featured new material, launched in December 2005. It replaced Chris Moyle's BBC Radio One breakfast show as the most popular podcast in the UK.

Gervais originally signed with Guardian Unlimited to do 12 weekly shows available to download from the internet, with his writing partner Stephen Merchant and their producer Karl Pilkington.

Jon Sharpe, managing director of Play, said: "Podcasts and audiobooks represent a huge growth area in the entertainment sector."

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