Weather bleak as Mller pulls out of ú3m ITV deal

Talks on the UK’s biggest TV sponsorship deal between Mller Dairy UK and the three ITV sales houses over the sponsorship of the vacant regional weather slots have collapsed.

ITV was on the brink of a deal worth between £3m and £3.5m annually across 13 broadcasters when negotiations collapsed. No new national advertiser is on the horizon and the sales houses are looking for region-by-region deals or an advertiser to come in for a three to six-month period.

“The sponsorship looked attractive on the surface but after investigating it we decided to continue with targeted, themed advertising rather than the blunderbuss approach of sponsorship,” says Mller managing director Ken Wood.

The regional weather slots were left without a sponsor when Legal & General withdrew its sponsorship in December after three and a half years.

The company left the regional slots because it was worried about the sponsorship becoming “wallpaper”. Powergen remains the £2.4m sponsor of the national ITV weather broadcasts.

“It is the biggest sponsorship in each individual region,” says Paul Green, managing director of Media Dimensions, the company which handled the L&G sponsorship. “They were incredibly lucky to get the first sponsorship across most of the network.”

Broadcasters are beginning to worry about their most valuable sponsorship property. They wanted it to be left vacant for no longer than the first quarter of the year to “cleanse” its slot of the L&G association.

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