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?’