Prudential to sponsor Parkinson

Prudential UK is to sponsor the ITV1 series of Parkinson to be shown on Saturday nights this autumn.

ITV Sales invited sealed bids for the sponsorship and was seeking a fee of about £1m (MW June 10).

The chat show, which was aired on BBC1 prior to Michael Parkinson’s defection to ITV, will form a key part of the ITV1 Saturday night autumn schedule.

Prudential director of marketing Roger Ramsden says: “One of our key brand values is honest dialogue, and who better to personify this than one of the country’s best-loved chat show hosts?”

The deal continues the Pru’s strategy of creating alliances with media brands used by its target ABC1 adult market.

The deal was planned by PHD and negotiated by Laurence Munday and Dave Roberts at content specialists Drum & Leigh Alexander, while Andy Thompson represented ITV Sales.

The sponsor’s ad will be produced by WCRS and sponsorship credits will appear at the start, end and in three breaks during the show, which is expected to continue into the New Year.

Parkinson hosted a Saturday night chat show on BBC1 between 1971 and 1998, with a break in the Eighties. Towards the end of his 12th BBC1 series audience numbers fell to 4.5 million and the chat show host was criticised for being too soft on his guests.

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