The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to help explore the possibility of working with controversial daytime TV presenter Jeremy Kyle to present a series on ITV aimed at getting people off benefits and back to work.
The series is provisionally titled Jeremy Kyle gets Britain working and is expected to cost the Government almost half a million pounds.
The DWP has confirmed that talks are taking place with ITV to consider advertising-funding programming to try and motivate people into work.
A DWP spokeswoman says: “We want to use our communications as effectively and efficiently as possible to motivate and support people into work. We have appointed an agency to explore advertiser-funded programming, but no decisions have been taken and no budget has been committed.”
Last October, Ufi – the operator of publicly-funded Learndirect – axed its sponsorship of The Jeremy Kyle Show after condemnatory comments made by a High Court judge whipped up a media storm about the show’s content.
At the time, COI, which manages Learndirect’s advertising activity, issued a statement saying: “Continued sponsorship of the show would not protect and enhance the strength and reputation of Learndirect, one of the country’s well-known names in adult learning.”