ITV police soap The Bill is to be sponsored for the first time in
its 17-year history after Npower agreed a deal with the series believed
to be worth pounds 2m.
Npower, the residential arm of National Power, plans to use its
sponsorship of the programme to position itself as a major consumer
brand, rather than just a utilities company.
The company, which plans to become a bills aggregator, providing
customers with one bill for water, telecoms and financial services, will
use the sponsorship to promote its brand message ’Constantly working to
lower your bills’.
The sponsorship, which will run until the new year, will include a
series of light-hearted idents created by TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.
The work, which features policemen, villains and an Npower bill, will be
supported by 30-second ads with a police theme. The work is due to
appear in ad breaks in the programme.
According to Npower head of brand marketing Kevin Peake, the company
also hopes to benefit from anticipated relaxation of the Independent
Television Commission’s sponsorship code in order to be able to include
telephone and address details in the credits.
The sponsorship comes as ITV makes a major investment in The Bill,
including introducing harder-hitting storylines in the vein of Channel
4’s much feted US import, NYPD Blue, to allow for greater character
development and more of a serial feel.
The programme is also expected to benefit from a pounds 2m marketing
The sponsorship deal was negotiated on behalf of Npower by Marcos Ramos,
group director of Manning Gottlieb Media, and by David Prosser, director
of sponsorship at Carlton Television.