ITV is continuing to diversify away from traditional spot advertising with the launch of Sunday teatime show paid for by petfood brand Pedigree.
Dog Rescue, which will air on flagship channel ITV1, will be the first fully advertiser-funded programme (AFP) although it will be produced by ITV.
It aims to build on the Mars UK-owned petfood brand’s Adoption Drive Campaign, which launches this month and is backed by a £3.6m marketing campaign.
The programme will be set in two of the UK’s busiest animal re-homing centres and aims to work with the campaign to to raise awareness of the plight of dogs in rescue centres.
The project was developed by ITV Customer Relations and Mars’ media agency Mediacom. The show will launch before the spring although the exact dates have yet to be confirmed.
ITV says it has a “clear strategy” to develop the AFP programming market and is in discussions with more than 30 brand owners, across telecoms, technology, automotive and utilities, about potential deals.
The broadcaster has been targeting clients following the appointment of Nicky Buss as advertiser development director 18 months ago. It has also appointed freelance ad executive Jane Geraghty to the new role of content development director.
Geraghty, most recently at New York agency Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners as managing partner/client services director. She has also worked at Ogilvy NY, APL/ Lowe Worldwide, McCann Erickson and WCRS.