Foods and household products titan Unilever has inked a three-year £320 million ($465.69m; €506.47m) deal – the largest in British advertising history – with ITV’s controlling twosome, Carlton Communications and Granada Media.

The agreement covers a wide range of Unilever brands, among them Dove toilet soap, Hellman’s mayonnaise and the Birds Eye Wall’s product portfolio.

The signing comes as a much need boost for the struggling broadcasters, both of which have been battered by the ITV Digital debacle and are expected to post half-year losses later this week [see story below].

But the consumer goods advertiser – Britain’s largest after the government – will have driven a hard bargain and all parties’ lips are zipped at to how much airtime Unilever will get for its spend: “It gives us a good deal for the money,” was all a Unilever spokesperson would reveal.

It is the first long-term deal entered into by Unilever in the UK, which has hitherto negotiated its broadcast advertising contracts on an annual basis. It is not known if any of the advertiser’s roster media shops were directly involved in the negotiations.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff