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Rupert Murdoch's 'Sun on Sunday' agrees STV sponsorship deal

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Rupert Murdoch's News international has reportedly struck an unprecedented deal with STV to sponsor ITV1 in Scotland this weekend to promote the release of the Sunday edition of The Sun.

The UK newspaper publisher launched a major multi-million pound marketing campaign for the new paper, The Sun on Sunday, at the Brit Awards on ITV1 this week.

Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corp leaving his Mayfair home in a car.

© Rex Features / Neil Hall



News International has now reached a deal with STV, the ITV licence holder for the STV and Grampian regions in Scotland, to sponsor ITV's flagship channel on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning.

This will involve 10 and 20 second short sponsorship idents, or bumpers, for the Sun on Sunday being shown around television programmes on ITV1 in Scotland, reports The Guardian.

A spokeswoman for STV confirmed the deal. The Sun's marketing director Rob Painter added: "We are delighted to work with our partners at STV to provide a really strong launch for the Sunday edition of the Scottish Sun and announce The Sun as a seven-day newspaper."

However, the deal has raised eyebrows in the industry as many ITV1 programmes, such as the popular dating show Take Me Out, already have sponsorship arrangements in place.

An industry source with knowledge of the deal said: "Theoretically it has been possible to do this sort of deal before but it is not in the spirit that advertisers and broadcasters have adhered to.

"STV is the first as far as I know to have flown against this, it is not going to have been cheap for News International to have done this. It is like running a sponsorship around [existing] sponsorships; it wouldn't surprise me if this causes trouble."

STV logo
Rupert Murdoch

© PA Images















STV has previously got into trouble with media regulator Ofcom over its sponsorship deals, including an investigation launched in 2010 into whether the broadcaster was under 'undue influence' from the Scottish government over a wide-ranging deal.

Murdoch has already announced plans to aggressively price the debut Sunday edition of The Sun at just 50p nationwide, prompting rival titles to also cut their prices.

In Scotland, The Sun is expected to launch on Sunday showing its support for the Scottish National Party, which has called for a referendum on Scottish independence.

In 2011, the Scottish Sun backed the SNP at the Scottish parliamentary elections, and last week Murdoch tweeted: "[SNP leader] Alex Salmond clearly most brilliant politician in UK. Gave Cameron back of his hand this week. Loved by Scots."

> Sun on Sunday: Read Rupert Murdoch's email in full
> Sun on Sunday: Will you be buying Rupert Murdoch's new tabloid?

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