Unilever has signed Europe’s biggest advertiser-supplied
programming deal, paying around dollars 10 million for the rights to the
film library of Columbia Tristar, which the advertiser will now swap for
airtime on Channel 5.
The deal, which will last several years, gives Channel 5 the UK
broadcast rights to more than 100 Hollywood movies, including In the
Line of Fire, Sleepless in Seattle and Philadelphia. In return, Unilever
secures further airtime on the channel and underlines its new strategy
for a more creative approach to advertising and media buying.
The deal was structured by Edwin Sharpe, the media controller at
Unilever; the advertiser-funded programming specialist, Malcolm Grant
Associates; Channel 5; and Unilever’s media agency, Initiative
As well as strengthening its programme line-up, the initiative also
allows Channel 5 to use up the airtime that would have been allocated to
the clients of the media agency, Carat. None of Carat’s clients have
been advertising on Channel 5 this year after the two parties failed to
agree terms for an airtime deal.
Nick Milligan, Channel 5’s sales director, said: ’We have been unable to
secure terms with Carat, so we’ve moved our business on through this
deal with Unilever. This has been a case of too much stick, not enough
Columbia said it is now looking at other ways of working with Unilever.