Media News: Flora funds C4 health series

Flora is celebrating its 40th birthday with its first advertiser-funded programming venture, a Channel 4 reality show that will be used to promote its Pro.Activ range.

The series, called Fit Street, follows a group of residents in Clapham Park, South-West London, as they try to improve their health by lowering their cholesterol via lifestyle and diet changes.

The series marks the start of a 12-month healthy heart campaign organised by the Clapham Park Project, a community regeneration initiative, and funded by the government's New Deal for Communities scheme.

The five 35-minute shows will air in the afternoon on Channel 4 between August 31 and September 3 and will be repeated in morning slots the following week.

The programmes were produced for Unilever Bestfoods, Flora's owner, by IWC Media, which also produces Channel 4 property show Location, Location, Location.

Flora is set to launch a Pro.Activ mini yoghurt drink this week, which is claimed to lower cholesterol and will compete with a similar product from Benecol.

Its introduction will be backed by a £2.5m TV, press and outdoor campaign. Other products in the Pro.Activ range include low-fat spreads, yoghurts and a semi-skinned milk drink.

Flora senior brand manager Katie Quinton said the TV series was designed to coincide with recent high-profile issues surrounding health.

'Fit Street will show that by using expert advice and making small changes to diet and lifestyle, the health of the heart can be significantly improved,' she added.

Quinton declined to reveal the size of the investment in the series, but described it as 'significant'. The deal was negotiated by MGA Broadcasting on behalf of Unilever.

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