Media: Alpro Soya sponsors Parkinson talk show

Alpro Soya, the dairy-free brand, is to back this autumn's final series of Parkinson on ITV1.

The sponsorship will be a key platform of the brand's forthcoming campaign promoting both its flagship milk alternative Alpro Soya Original and an Alpro-branded strawberry-flavoured yoghurt drink. The wider marketing campaign will include direct, online and experiential work, as well as PR.

The activity was overseen by John Allaway, commercial director at Alpro, who believes the sponsorship reflects the fact that soya is no longer a niche product and now has mainstream acceptance.

Alpro takes over from Bahlsen Biscuits, which sponsored the talk show's run last autumn.

The sponsorship is the latest attempt by Alpro to position itself as a mainstream brand. Last year it relaunched its entire range to extend its reach beyond its core market of vegan and lactose-intolerant consumers with packaging clearly displaying a list of the products' benefits.

The Parkinson show, which is one of the longest-running programmes on television, having made its debut in 1971, will return to ITV1 on Saturday. Parkinson transferred to ITV in 2004 after more than three decades at the BBC.

During his three-year stint at ITV, the famously mild-mannered host has interviewed stars including Tom Cruise, Madonna, Sir Elton John, Lauren Bacall, Sir Paul McCartney and then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.