Fast-fashion retailers advertising on the widely popular British show ‘Love Island’ are expected to take a hit in sales after TV boss confirms series cancellation

Fast fashion chains Missguided and Boohoo are among the brands that held sponsorship deals with the show. Rosalind O’Connor/NBCU via Getty
  • British broadcaster ITV announced this week that it has postponed the filming of reality-dating series “Love Island” due to the coronavirus pandemic, potentially causing distress to sponsors reliant on the show.
  • Previously, retail brands such as ISawItFirst, Boohoo, Missguided, and Superdrug saw significant increases in profits through sponsorships by heavily promoting make-up products and clothing featured on the reality series.
  • According to GlobalData, nearly half of those who watched went on to buy a product after seeing it advertised on screen.
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British reality-dating series “Love Island” has been put on hold until 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and analysts say it could spell trouble for partner retailers who capitalised on the show through collaborations.

“Many retailers targeting 16-24s will have been banking on their “Love Island” partnerships drawing in new customers this summer and will be left wondering how they can replicate the huge awareness boost that the program brings,” Sofie Willmott, lead analyst at GlobalData, told Business Insider.

British beauty retailer Superdrug and fast fashion chains such as ISawItFirst, Missguided, and Boohoo are among the brands that held sponsorship deals with the show. These fashion retailers have previously been able to cash in on the success of the show through marketing opportunities and social media deals.

Contestants on the show would don the latest collections from sponsor brands and as a result, this helped boost profits for retailers through the vast influence “Love Island” had on its viewers’ shopping choices.

Since the show’s launch, 4.8 million people watched the first episode of Love Island, according to ITV’s seven-day consolidated figures.

According to a report on “Love Island’s” retail partnerships, searches on eBay for a “yellow playsuit” clothing item rose 276% after the show’s former host Caroline Flack wore one during a premiere event.

Willmott said that the partner retailers were “wise to get involved…given that almost half of 16-24 year olds watched an episode of Love Island in 2019 and of those who watched, 45.3% bought a product after seeing it on an advert by one of the brands sponsoring the show.”

However, retailers who planned to sponsor the show may also be relieved to save on costs of participating, Willmott said, as 2020 marketing budgets have been slashed in lieu of the pandemic.

“Although Love Island could have boosted brand awareness at a time when UK consumers were potentially ready to spend again, it is looking unlikely they will be buying much swimwear and sun-cream this year given holidays abroad are in doubt,” she said.

ITV said in a statement that logistical difficulties made it impossible to film the seventh season of the TV program, which is usually filmed over several weeks in a Spanish villa. The series format is designed to involve a group of contestants, known as Islanders, who live under video-surveillance in isolation from the outside world in Mallorca and must be coupled up to survive the show.

“In normal circumstances, we would be preparing very soon to travel out to the location in Mallorca to get the villa ready but clearly that’s now out of the question,” Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, said in a statement on Monday.