Press Council approves complaint against Tamedia

The Swiss Press Council reprimanded the publisher Tamedia several times for disguised advertising. The newspapers Tages-Anzeiger and SonntagsZeitung had published paid advertising contributions from Swisscom, Mazda, Proviande and Genève Invest, which readers could mistake for editorial articles.


Three complaints were received against the articles, which the Press Council has now approved. This is because the Journalists' Code of Conduct stipulates that the editorial section must be strictly separated from advertising.

The full-page and double-page advertisements had a journalistic layout and were almost identical in design to editorial pages. Such forms of advertising, so-called "native advertising", are not prohibited, but they must be clearly, unambiguously, sufficiently large and clearly visible declared as advertising. This was not the case with any of the advertising contributions. According to the Press Council, readers were misled because they could not recognize the non-journalistic character of these pages at first glance.

The Press Council issued a leading decision on this form of advertising at the end of last year. At that time he reprimanded the NZZ on Sunday for an advertising site in disguise. He notes with satisfaction that awareness is growing at Tamedia with regard to the mixing of editorial content and advertising. Tamedia's quality officer noted in his 2019 quality report that there is a need for improvement, among other things, in the declaration of native ads.

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