SRG criticizes foreign advertising windows - but makes a profit from them

The fact that SRG is earning money from foreign advertising windows via Admeira pisses off critics. But SRG itself sees no problem in this.


Reducing the outflow of advertising money abroad is one of the declared goals of the Admeira advertising alliance, in which Swisscom and Ringier as well as SRG are participating. The aim is not only to create an alternative to the Internet giants Facebook and Google, but also to the advertising windows of foreign TV stations, which are marketed in this country primarily by Goldbach.

Criticism of Natalie Rickli's dual role

Natalie Rickli, the most prominent representative of the Küsnacht-based company, was therefore asked by the media unions SSM and Syndicom, as well as the journalists' professional association Impressum, in an open letter to resign as President of the Commission for Transport and Telecommunications. The letter criticizes the fact that Rickli, on the one hand, is in charge of the "public service" and "No Billag" dossiers, while on the other hand, in her function as a Goldbach executive, she is a direct competitor to the SRG and, as president of the "Aktion Medienfreiheit" (Media Freedom Campaign), also appears as an avowed opponent of the SRG.

"Therefore, we call on you to separate professional interest and political work and to step aside as commission president of the KVF on these media policy issues," they demand.

Criticism of the Admeira advertising alliance is often countered with said outflow of advertising money. The Sonntagszeitung quotes Roger de Weck, the former director general of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG), who argued in Blick that "half of the revenue from advertising spots in Switzerland already goes to advertising windows on foreign channels. In response to criticism from Admeira, Media Minister Doris Leuthard also asks why "this market should be allowed to migrate abroad.

Admeira has foreign advertising windows in its portfolio

The Sonntagszeitung now writes that "against this background [...] it is all the more astonishing that SRG also markets advertising on foreign channels" via Admeira. The reference is to the two French private channels TF1 and TMC, which Admeira has "on offer" in western Switzerland. SRG is thus promoting a development that it normally warns against, the article says.

This is met with criticism in politics, but also with understanding. FDP National Councilor Christian Wasserfallen calls it a "regulatory sin" that public broadcasters are running a business that private broadcasters could do themselves. SP politician Jacqueline Badran sees a contradiction with Admeira's goal of keeping advertising money in the country. On the other hand, she believes that Admeira must be oriented to the changed needs of the advertising industry: "Customers today want a convergent package," she says.

SRG does not criticize advertising windows in general

SRG itself sees fewer problems with the issue. Spokesman Daniel Steiner tells the Sonntagszeitung that they are not criticizing advertising windows per se, but rather their preferential treatment compared to Swiss providers. For example, foreign broadcasters would not have to invest any of their revenues in Swiss film, as is the case with Swiss broadcasters. And the ban on targeted advertising does not apply to foreign competitors either. Steiner said that the only thing being criticized is the discrimination against Swiss providers, who are disadvantaged despite the reinvestment in Swiss journalism. (hae)

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