C4 set to drum up support for anniversary ‘retro’ ads

Channel 4 is courting advertisers to appear in a series of “retro” ad breaks as part of the broadcaster’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

The broadcaster is understood to be in talks with more than 40 advertisers about airing paired ads – from an old campaign and a new execution – during a break. The channel’s ad idents will use the launch logo from 1982.

It is thought that the air time will also be sold at up to 60% off current deal prices in order to reflect the 1982 spot cost.

The initiative aims to showcase the changes in commercial television and TV advertising over the 25 years since Channel 4 launched.

It is thought that the channel will have five ad breaks, lasting three and a half minutes each, during a primetime show looking at its channel. It is due to be aired on November 3, the day after its anniversary.

The broadcaster is understood to have told agencies that interest is high and that they will not be able to take break “options”.

It is demanding Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre approval as a precondition to discussion about appearing in the retro breaks. It is also warning agencies that rights issues, particularly with the retro ads – such as for music – must be sorted out before ad spots can be granted.

The strategy is one of a number of initiatives by the broadcaster highlighting its anniversary celebrations. Channel 4’s digital channel More4 is airing a number of historic shows, such as the first episodes of Countdown and Brookside, in the run-up to the anniversary.

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