Cadbury Drinking Chocolate to sponsor ITV's Heartbeat

LONDON - Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate will sponsor the new series of ITV1's Sunday evening hit 'Heartbeat', investing £1.6m in the initiative.

The 14th series of the Yorkshire-based police drama is back on ITV this autumn. It is a ratings puller for the commercial broadcaster, averaging 9.8m viewers or 38% share for the last series. It is ranked as ITV1's most popular long-running series.

The deal was negotiated by Stewart Hunt, senior sponsorship executive at ITV Sales, and Andy Corcoran at Alliance, ZenithOptimedia's sponsorship division. The creative is being produced by DLKW.

Jamie Crofts, Cadbury marketing manager at Premier Foods, said: "'Heartbeat' gives us a fabulous opportunity to communicate our brand message to such a large and loyal audience. It's not only good news for us, it's good news for the whole category of hot beverages."

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