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Company Created 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'

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LONDON ( -- Celador International, the U.K. based creator of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, has launched a branded-entertainment division called Brand Alliances.
Celador programs are licensed to TV networks in more than 100 countries.

The company said the division will work closely with marketers and advertising agencies in the creation of advertiser-funded programming, events, broadcast sponsorship, barter deals and other branded-entertainment opportunities.

Mat Freer, a former TV format creator and advertising account director, has been hired to head of Brand Alliances.

Worldwide experience
Adrian Woolfe, the managing director of Celador, said the company's experience in the worldwide licensing of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? across TV, interactive media, promotions and consumer products now enabled it to assist other marketers in doing the same.

Celador launched Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in the U.K. in 1998 and the show is now licensed to more than 100 countries. Walt Disney Co.'s ABC bought the rights to the show in North America, but in Venezuela and Chile the property was licensed directly to Procter & Gamble Co. The company has also worked with McDonald's Corp. on Millionaire promotions.

Celador has additionally had international success with the diet show You Are What You Eat, which has been licensed to 11 countries including Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands. The property has already spawned two hit books, a magazine and a snack range in the U.K.

Focus outside the U.K.
Mr. Freer said Brand Alliances will focus its efforts outside of the U.K. and seek opportunities in the U.S. and other countries.

He is already working on two projects in his new role. He is looking for sponsors for the British Independent Film Awards, scheduled for November, and working to exploit the rights to the FIFPRO World XI Player Awards, an international soccer prize ceremony that takes place in September.

The entrepreneurial Mr. Freer studied at Oxford University and worked as an account director at London agencies including Havas' Euro RSCG and WPP Group's Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/ Y&R before leaving the advertising world to develop programming ideas. He worked with a team at the BBC responsible for developing The Weakest Link and Strictly Come Dancing, a celebrity dance contest that has already been licensed to 12 countries, including the U.S.

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