RSPB signs up as first UK charity to sponsor TV show

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is to become the first UK charity to sponsor a TV series, after signing a deal with BSkyB.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is to become the first UK charity to sponsor a TV series, after signing a deal with BSkyB.

The sponsorship comes as the RSPB repositions itself as a “campaigning” organisation rather than a “safe” charity (MW January 5).

The charity will use its sponsorship of the Sky One documentary series Final Chance to Save – which looks at endangered species across the world – to spearhead its own campaign to save the albatross from extinction. It says about 100,000 of the birds die each year as a result of bad fishing practices.

Each episode follows a celebrity, backed by a team of experts and campaigners, as they investigate the plight of animals close to their hearts. It is not known how much the sponsorship package is worth, although it is thought that BSkyB took a “partnership approach” with the charity, meaning it did not pay the market rate.

Bumpers have been produced by independent agency BLAC, which was appointed to the charity’s roster in February following a three-way pitch. BLAC executive creative director Chris Arnold says the deal is indicative of how charities are having to change the way they communicate with supporters.

“They are looking for ways to reach new audiences with more relevant messages,” he says. “The RSPB is leading the way.”

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