KFC to sponsor Ant & Dec's Takeaway

KFC has signed a deal with ITV1 to sponsor the fifth series of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

The seven-figure package will see KFC sponsor the spring series of the popular Saturday night show, which begins on 12 February.

KFC replaces Cusson's Imperial Leather soap brand, which sponsored last autumn's series of the show.

The deal was brokered for KFC by Walker Media and the sponsorship agency SPP, and for ITV by the sponsorship executive Ella Fletcher. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, KFC's ad agency, will create sponsorship credits.

KFC also sponsors Home & Away on five and has sponsored the ITV children's programme SM:TV, also hosted by Ant and Dec. It signed the SM:TV deal in late 2001 as its first-ever TV sponsorship.

Saturday Night Takeaway's most recent series regularly drew more than eight million viewers, with a 51 per cent share of 16- to 34-year-olds.

Matthew Critchley, the brand director at KFC, said: "We have enjoyed the success of our sponsorship of Home & Away, and this is a further example of our willingness to broaden the appeal of our new advertising strategy."

- Comment, p40.