THE Co-operative Bank and Co-operative Insurance Society are to sponsor The Bill on ITV1 for the next 12 months.
Sponsorship of the twice-weekly police drama for an undisclosed sum will be the first joint marketing initiative for the two brands following the formation of CFS in 2002.
The sponsorship, which will also feature the Co-op Bank's internet arm, smile, also includes midweek re-runs and a Saturday evening omnibus on ITV3, branded trailers, on-line presence as well as off-screen licensing activity.
Widely accepted as one of the cornerstones of ITV1's schedule and recently named Most Popular Drama at the National Television Awards, The Bill ? which has experienced consistent year on year growth in audience ratings ? is seen by almost 12 million viewers per week.
Craig Shannon, Executive Director, Marketing for Co-operative Financial Services, said: "This is the first joint sponsorship for the Co-operative Bank and CIS and we're sure that our association with such a high profile and long running programme as The Bill will prove hugely successful.
"We look forward to developing a strong partnership with the team at ITV over the coming months and building a great campaign around the broadcast rights."
Andy Thompson, Controller, Sponsorship and Branded Content at ITV Sales, said: "We are delighted with this major commitment by The Co-operative Bank and CIS to ITV sponsorship and look forward to building this partnership throughout the next year."