The ITV companies are expected to net around pounds 8 million from
Cadbury’s decision to sponsor Coronation Street, confirmed this week, in
the biggest sponsorship deal ever seen in the UK.
Cadbury is committing pounds 10 million, about 80 per cent of which is
accounted for by the rights to link itself with the programme through
on-screen sponsorship credits.
The remaining pounds 2 million will be spent on exploiting the
association off-screen through merchandising and promotional tie-ins.
Other channels are bracing themselves for a cut in adspend by the
confectionery giant, whose advertising budget was about pounds 20
million in 1995.
Simon Rees, the deputy managing director of Cadbury’s media buying
company, TMD Carat, said that, because the sponsorship will initially
concentrate on promoting the Cadbury brand rather than specific
products, the pounds 10 million spend will not result in a dramatic cut
in Cadbury’s spot advertising.
‘Cadbury will still be spending money to advertise existing brands, and
to launch brands. This is just a re-evaluation of the overall marketing
budget,’ Rees commented.
Rees, who engineered the deal with ITV’s sponsorship chiefs, began
looking for sponsorship vehicles as a way of coping with rising TV
airtime inflation and the pressure on budgets following increases in the
price of cocoa.
He added: ‘They are both established brands, with a real heritage, which
will feed off each other’s virtues.’
Mick Desmond, the chief executive of Granada’s sales house, Laser Sales,
hailed the deal as a major watershed for ITV: ‘This will change the way
people see sponsorship,’ he claimed.