Amid cinema consolidation in the US and a nine per-cent downturn in the UK television advertising market in the first seven weeks of 2001, UK exhibition giant Warner Village Cinemas has secured a proven vehicle for increasing brand awareness. The company has signed a $1,455,400 (£1m) deal to sponsor the London Weekend Television (LWT) regional weather slot for a 12 month campaign.

The deal, which kicks off on 2 March, heralds a new development in UK cinema advertising strategies which normally favour press. Previous sponsors of the LWT weather were Seeboard Energy, which had championed Weather report sponsorship as both economical and highly effective.

Following new Independent Television Commission (ITC) code regulations announced last October, sponsors are now allowed to include products within their sponsorship messages. Within the Warner Village Cinema and LWT weather collaboration viewers will be given the WVC booking-line number and URL address. Several WVC cinemas within the London area will also be shown throughout the bulletin, emphasising that Warner Village Cinemas is rapidly becoming the leading Multiplex cinema chain in London.