HUL to be exclusive ad partner of Zee Bangla Cinema

MUMBAI: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) has signed an exclusive advertisement deal with the country’s largest spender on advertising Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) for its newly-launched Bengali movie channel.

This is the first time an entertainment channel has entered into an exclusive advertisement arrangement.

As part of the deal, the FMCG major will exclusively get to advertise on Zee Bangla Cinema for one-and-a-half months. And for the next four-and-a-half months, Zee has committed 30 per cent of the ad inventory of the channel to HUL.

For the first one-and-a-half months, the deal will act as a roadblock for other advertisers wanting to advertise on the channel. HUL will also get visibility on all the promotional activities of the channel.

According to Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) chief sales officer Ashish Sehgal, the ad deal with HUL is beneficial to both the parties. “I am able to sell the channel from day 1 without the assessment of ratings and HUL will get to advertise exclusively on our channel,” he said.

The channel was scouting for an advertising partner during the launch and had approached several clients. “HUL showed confidence in us and hence they are on board,” Sehgal said.

Zeel already runs a Bengali GEC Zee Bengal, which also airs movies and already owns blockbuster Bengali movie titles.

The Zee-HUL ad deal also comes in the backdrop of the FMCG company’s decision in June against advertising on any of the Star Network channels. HUL‘s ad and promotional spends in 2011-12 was Rs 26.97 billion.

In India, Star also did ad deals for a shorter duration for its second GEC Life OK but it was with three advertisers. The other kind of deal worked out was by NDTV when its launched a co-branded lifestyle channel, NDTV Good Times, with Kingfisher.

“This is an effective model of working where the new channels sign on clients as exclusive advertisers. Life OK had also done it with three brands including HUL for a month,” an executive with a rival broadcaster said, adding Bengal’s television advertising market is in the range of Rs 8 billion.

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