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'Jamie's 15-Minute Meals' on Channel 4 to get product placement

By
Jamie Oliver

© Rex Features / Newspix/Rex Features

Channel 4 has agreed product placement deals with two leading food brands for Jamie Oliver's new 15-Minute Meals cookery series.

The broadcaster has already signed product placements deals for soap Hollyoaks, but it has now extended the initiative to a programme featuring one of its biggest stars.

Products from Uncle Ben's and Yeo Valley will both feature in Jamie's 15-Minute Meals when it launches on Channel 4 this autumn. Uncle Ben's will also sponsor the show.

In each programme, Oliver will create nutritious, speedy dishes in just 15 minutes.

Some of the quick-cook recipes will incorporate Uncle Ben's rice, including Loose Basmati Rice, Express Wholegrain Rice, and Express Long Grain & Wild Rice; while others will feature Yeo Valley's 0% Fat Natural Yogurt.

Commercial broadcasters are allowed to include paid placements of products in their programmes under new rules ushered in by media regulator Ofcom last year.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield from 'This Morning'
The scheme allows strapped broadcasters to unlock additional revenue streams with placements, but they must be clearly marked to viewers with an Ofcom-approved logo.

ITV's This Morning was the first UK programme to get product placement, when Nestlé's Dolce Gusto coffee brand appeared on the show in February 2011 as part of a reported £100,000 deal.

Vicky Kell, the business manager for partnerships at Channel 4, said that this will mark the first time that the broadcaster has "placed products on-screen with major talent".

"We're confident that the active usage by Jamie will lead to a tremendously effective campaign, and as such we'll be investing in research to help us to prove this," she added.

Zoe Collins, a producer at Jamie's 15-Minute Meals makers Fresh One Production, said that it is important to get the right "tone" with product placements.

> Holly Willoughby warned by ITV over product placement?

"We are excited to be working with Channel 4, Uncle Ben's and Yeo Valley on this series," she said.

"Getting the right tone is really important and we're confident that with these partners we are all working towards a terrific programme.

"Food-wise, the Uncle Ben's and Yeo Valley products used in the series do really help to save time but, importantly, never at the expense of taste."

Yeo Valley managing director Tim Mead said that the family farm business was "delighted" to be involved in Oliver's new programme.

"As a friend of our family farm and a fan of our products, we're thrilled that Jamie shares our passion for wholesome British food made from the best ingredients," he commented.

"We're looking forward to the series hitting TV screens and will be launching an on-pack offer to tie in with the show."

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