Press Council criticizes 20 Minuten - commuter newspaper vows improvement

Test reports sponsored by Microspot in 20 Minuten were insufficiently declared. The commuter newspaper wants to label more clearly in the future.


On May 6, 2019 published 20 minutes two product tests in the print edition. Tester "Gadget Gab" took two products from the Microspot range under the microscope: a snoring mask and a water filter. The item was in the normal 20 minutes-The review was presented in a very simple layout, did not mention critical aspects of the products, and referred to the fact that they were available on at the end. The online store had provided the two tested devices, it was also stated. Below the "article", a normal advertisement, which promoted the two products from the Microspot range.

From the Switzerland at the weekend When asked about the page in question, the Press Council criticized the approach of the commuter newspaper. According to managing director Ursina Wey, it must be assumed that this is "a cooperation between the two companies that is completely inadequately explained to the readership. 20 minutes and Microspot". For Wey it is clear: The article would have to be marked as advertising.

"Dispense entirely with obfuscating verbiage".

Whether the commuter newspaper will mark the tests with "advertising" in the future remains to be seen and is at least questionable. If it were up to the Press Council, however, this would be the correct course. The self-regulatory body recently commented on the issue of declaration in the context of a native-ad rebuke to ( reported). In principle, the Press Council therefore recommends dispensing entirely with the word formations "In cooperation with..." or "Sponsored Content" that disguise the advertising character. These would undermine the trust of the readership in journalism. Publishers should therefore always replace them with the unambiguous and accurate term "advertising," according to the Press Council.

Labeling is adjusted

Tamedia confirms that it is a cooperation with Microspot and that the content is created by the Tamedia advertising department. "Gadget Gab", on the other hand, is a freelancer and would "definitely also critically" evaluate Microspot products on

However, the criticism of the Press Council is taken seriously and the labeling in the print edition will be adjusted in the future to increase transparency, said the 20 minutes-Mother's House.

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