Jacob's Creek sponsors Channel 4 Friends

The Australian wine label Jacob's Creek is the latest in the list of advertisers to sponsor Friends on Channel 4.

The £850,000 sponsorship - Jacob's Creek's first - starts on 5 July with the first episode of the eighth series of the comedy series.

Friends continues to perform well - after Big Brother it was the highest rating show on Channel 4 last year reaching two million ABC1 adults each week.

Previous sponsors of Friends have included Nescafe and Wella. In an apparent change of strategy, Nescafe moved its sponsorship to Channel 4's Mersey Television-produced teen soap opera Hollyoaks earlier this year. Nescafe paid £4 million for its sponsorship of Friends in 1999.

The creative work for the Jacob's Creek sponsorship has been produced by Clemenger BBDO in Adelaide and the deal was negotiated by Rupinder Khabra at Channel 4 and Shania Galvin at Media Planning Group.

Chris Searle, the head of wine marketing at Pernod Ricard, said: "Jacob's Creek, Friends and Channel 4 represent three fantastic brands, which are ideally suited.

We have been looking at sponsorship for some time and when we were presented with the Friends opportunity it seemed an obvious choice.

"The sponsorship gives us the ideal opportunity to communicate our core values, reach our target audience and really stand out from our competitors."

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