Britain's ITV Embarks on Ad-Funded Programming

25 January 2008

MELTON MOWBRAY, UK:  For the first time in its fifty-two-year history ITV, the UK's largest and oldest commercial broadcaster, will air a series entirely funded by ads for a single brand – Pedigree dogfoods, a unit of Mars Inc.

Scheduled to appear in a primetime Sunday evening slot on flagship channel ITV1 later this year, Dog Rescue is described as an 'observational documentary'.
Filmed at The Dog Trust in outer London and Manchester Dog’s Home, the project is described as "a great example of how to develop content with brands".
Enthuses ITV client development director Samantha Wilson: "Not only does the series meet the high standards of ITV’s commissioners and has earned a great slot in the schedule, but it also does a fantastic job for Pedigree."
Which will be music to the ears of the client's media planning agency, MediaCom, which originated the idea.
Given that TV is the quintessential 'me too' industry, UK viewers may soon be deluged by similar ad-funded content. ITV reportedly has "more than thirty" such deals under discussion.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff