Yorkshire Tea will sponsor the ITV drama series Heartbeat. Taylors of Harrogate, which owns the brand, will sponsor the remaining eight shows, plus the autumn 1998 series.

United News & Media is expected to confirm the winning bidders for its stable of regional newspaper titles later this week, after bids close for tranches of its titles on Thursday. Trinity International is tipped to take control of the group’s northern titles, including the Yorkshire Post, while Tony O’Reilly’s Independent Newspapers is bidding for the group’s local London titles.

Southern Comfort is to sponsor ‘The Comfort Zone’ on Uploaded, the Internet version of men’s magazine Loaded (right) (www.uploaded.com). The chat and games area on the Uploaded site features characters taken from the magazine and Southern Comfort’s current ad campaign.

Duckhams, the motor oil brand, is to sponsor Sky TV’s coverage of the Nationwide Football League from January 1998. The seven-figure deal will cover the remainder of this current and 1998/99 season. Broadcast coverage of the Nationwide League, covered by Sky since the beginning of last season, was previously unsponsored.

MGA Broadcasting, the sponsorship specialist, has beaten McCann-Erickson to handle creative work on the credits for sponsorship of GMTV’s weather reports by Vaseline skincare and Vaseline anti-perspirant deodorant. MGA subsidiary Hubble Productions is to handle the creation of sponsorship sequences for the advertiser.

JC Decaux, the outdoor advertising group, has won a 20-year contract to supply poster sites on bus shelters and other street furniture in the City of Sydney district. The deal hands the company the majority of outdoor sites in the metropolis ahead of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Coronation Street’s hour-long edition on Monday attracted an audience of 15.8 million viewers, more than three times the size of EastEnders’ Monday night audience of 4.7 million which was, according to ITV, an ‘all-time low’ for the BBC soap.

Nestlé launches its biggest multi-brand promotion in the UK this month in conjunction with the Cartoon Network. The year-long deal links brands including Smarties, Um Bongo and Herta frankfurters to various shows.

The Rover Group launches a range of Websites next week aimed at promoting its Land Rover, MG and Rover ranges to online car buyers in the UK and abroad. The sites (www.landrover.com, www.mg-cars.com, www.rovercars.com, www.rovergroup.com) contain pricing and product details, an interactive colour and trim selector and contact details.

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