Tesco to sponsor Downton Abbey TV series

TESCO will attempt to bolster its upmarket credentials by sponsoring period drama Downton Abbey.

Tesco: sponsoring period drama Downton Abbey. Picture: Contributed

News of the supermarket giant’s first TV sponsorship deal comes as the group attempts to recover from the horsemeat scandal earlier this year and flat sales and profits.

The multi-million pound agreement will last for a year and see the Finest brand appear across TV, mobile and online platforms.

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Tesco UK marketing director David Wood described the award-winning show as “well-crafted, authentic and inspiring” – making it a “great brand fit” with the retailer.

Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said Tesco was trying to “demonstrate it is more aspirational”, ahead of an expected relaunch of Finest in the coming weeks.

He noted: “Management has dusted itself down and had a clear look at how it’s perceived and how it needs to improve the perception.”

Tesco replaces cruise ship operator P&O as the show’s sponsor. The fourth series will run for eight episodes.