NEWS: Fury over Rover’s National Trust deal

The National Trust has unleashed a storm by refusing to allow car companies, except Rover Group, to use its vast estate of land and properties for advertising purposes.

The National Trust has unleashed a storm by refusing to allow car

companies, except Rover Group, to use its vast estate of land and

properties for advertising purposes.



The keeper of British heritage announced a five-year pounds 1 million

sponsorship deal with Rover last year, to take effect in 1995, allowing

the car company access to National Trust properties.



However, at the time of the announcement in 1994, neither partner in the

deal said publicly that it involved exclusive use of the estate for

shooting ads or stills.



Several car manufacturers are now thought to have been turned down when

applying to shoot on National Trust land. This includes Ford which,

sources confirm, applied to shoot its pre-Christmas dealer-support ads

on National Trust territory, only to be told of the exclusive

arrangement with Rover.



The Ogilvy and Mather business director on Ford, David Magliano, said:

‘This could have quite an impact on car manufacturers when they need to

shoot in the UK, which happens often when they don’t have the luxury of

high production budgets.’



Both the Rover Group and the National Trust, which is partly funded by

government grants, have confirmed the arrangement.



Rover Group’s director of external affairs, Clive Walker, said he could

see nothing wrong with the exclusivity clause. ‘Clearly if a competitor

wanted to use the land, we would say no, otherwise there would be no

point in having this arrangement,’ he said.



The advertising and production industry is less happy. One production

company head said: ‘We find it extraordinary that houses and land that

are in the safe keeping of the state are excluded by this sponsorship

deal. If Glaxo gave pounds 1 million to Oxfam, could it insist that no

competitor shoot in Pakistan?’



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