GOOD and bad news for Coronation Street fans.
The good news is that those pedestrian, repeated to death ads for Cadbury chocolate products are to disappear.
The bad news is – they could be replaced by something even worse.
Corrie is today looking for a new sponsor after Cadbury decided to pull the plug on its current £10m a year deal.
“Like many of its famous characters, it’s time to say goodbye to the Street,” says Cadbury marketing director Phil Rumbol.
I’ve just written a full report for the MEN, although there wasn’t room to include the potential consequences for Norris Cole.
Working as he does at the cutting edge of industry, will this shattering news for all chocolate lovers force an emergency stock take at The Kabin?
And who will step in to take advantage of what ITV are describing as “an incredible sponsorship opportunity”?
It’s an important question for Street fans, who will have to sit through – or fast forward – those endless “bumper” ads either side of the programme titles.
In the absence of true commercial giants like Newton and Ridley and Freshco, who for some strange reason won’t be taking part in the bidding war, will we all end up going to Iceland…or Tesco?
Are Sainsbury’s planning to parachute Jamie Oliver into the Rovers with his own version of Betty’s Hot Pot?
Or how about Apple kitting out Blanche with a cool black iPod nano to match her outdoor specs?
Not being a marketing expert, I’ve no idea who will come forward to sponsor Corrie.
But one thing is clear. Even after Cadbury leaves in a black cab, there’ll still be a fair share of fruit and nut cases left behind on the Weatherfield cobbles.
*Wed Nov 15 update: One potential sponsor named in speculation today is Unilever, the company behind a wide range of well-known brands in the UK, including Persil, Birds Eye, Bovril, Flora, PG Tips, Surf, Wall’s, Pot Noodle, Dove and Ben & Jerry’s.
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