'Apprentice' advertising to raise €2m for TV3
TV3 bosses are hoping to raise close to €2m in advertising revenue from the task segment in the popular series The Apprentice, presented by Bill Cullen.
In advertising documents circulated last week, companies are been offered the opportunity for their brand or product to appear in the show as 'Gold Sponsors' for a fee of €130,000.
For this fee advertisers will feature as the task in the show and will have their "brand and message woven into an entire episode", according to documents given to advertising agencies.
Each week participants in the show have to complete a task that is centred on a product. Failure to complete the task leads ultimately to the firing of one of the participants. According to the advertising documents, The Apprentice will be a one-hour primetime show "dedicated to your business messaging" and is the "most sought-after demo in primetime".
Last year companies who participated in the tasks segment of the show included Spar, Appleby's and Cadbury. With between 12 and 14 episodes of the series featuring tasks, TV3 bosses will hope to generate revenue of close to €2m for this part of the show.
The makers of The Apprentice were forced to re-edit every episode of the first series following an investigation by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. The producers of the programme had to have solicitors view all 13 episodes to make sure that there was no overt "product placement". One episode in the first series flouted the advertising code, by giving "undue prominence" to Renault products and logos, a company linked to programme mentor Bill Cullen.
This week The Apprentice lost its title sponsor when, in a surprise move, mobile phone operator Meteor withdrew its sponsorship of the popular programme.
A planned celebrity version of The Apprentice, due to happen early this year, was also cancelled, with producers saying this was due to the lack of availability of high-profile contestants.
Maureen Catterson, with TV3, says they are very confident that they will get sponsors for the show considering its high popularity.