Stella Artois is ending its relationship with Channel 4’s film strand after eight years because of fears that the material was becoming “wallpaper” to viewers.
The sponsorship deal – which is believed to be worth between £1m and £1.5m a year – currently includes credits around certain films shown on C4 and FilmFour, and also on the broadcaster’s online film show, Movierush.
A statement from InBev, Stella’s owner, says/ “InBev UK can confirm that it is not renewing its sponsorship of Channel 4 film.
“There is no doubt that this has done a fantastic job for Stella Artois, cementing its unrivalled association with film, but the brand is facing new and different challenges going forward and the company is investing in fresh and innovative ways of enhancing its link with film going into 2007 and beyond.”
An InBev spokesman says the brand has no plans to abandon its long-term relationship with film, which has been a key plank in its marketing over the past decade: “People associate Stella Artois with film and we are absolutely not abandoning film. But it is important that a brand like Stella Artois remains at the cutting edge of marketing activity and doesn’t stand still.
Our Channel 4 sponsorship was arguably becoming wallpaper – we weren’t being noticed any more.”
InBev has invested heavily in taking Stella’s film-related activities online, with the launch of www.studioartois.co.uk, where fans can find film news, reviews, interactive maps showing locations used in shoots, quizzes and links to Stella-sponsored short film events.