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Promotion in Germany is a tough job.

This is an excerpt of a presentation given at BPME by Klaus Dieter Koch, an executive with The Broadcaster's Friends, a Nuremberg-based promotion company.

Let me give you a tour of the newest promotion ideas for radio and TV that were realized in Germany and Austria in the last few years. For us, the German market consists of three countries: Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In Germany we've got 28 public TV stations and 25 private TV channels plus 40 public radio stations and 140 private radio stations. Austria doesn't yet have private TV broadcasting but there are three public TV stations and nine radio stations. Switzerland doesn't have private TV broadcasting, but there are 36 private local radio stations.

Germany has two different types of broadcasting organizations: 1) the statewide radio and TV stations and 2) the regional, local radio and TV stations. Each state-wide station is covering one of the 15 states. We like to think that Germany has one of the hardest competition laws in the world. The latitude for our promotion activities is so tight that we are unable to use most of the ideas we receive from Americans, because they are against our laws.

A second problem is the German mentality. The Germans are considered to be 'big thinkers'. We are "head" oriented. Thus, we are suspicious of everything new. At first, everything new is not good, possibly even bad, until we test and use it; then it has a chance to be accepted. Surprisingly, almost everything in promotion is new. As you may imagine, doing promotion in Germany is a tough job. So it's no wonder that our promotion activities are still--how should I say--a little bit underdeveloped.

One of my friends, the general manager of a small local radio station, once told me about his situation: "When we talk about promotion, the Americans always say, 'We've got Johnny Cash and Bob Hope.' We say, 'We've got no cash and no hope!"'

Although promotion in Germany is not easy, we've got some good ideas. For example, Tele 5 is one of the largest private TV stations in Germany. The programming of Tele 5 is distributed nationwide via cable and terrestrially. It's made for the whole family and is dominated by game shows. A few months ago, Tele 5 went on the air with a new station packaging which represented the upcoming trend to go from computer graphics to the more "human" and artistic oriented station-package designs. By the way, the logo of Tele 5 is a big dot. In the various packaging elements one can see how creatively one can use this dot.
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Author:Koch, Klaus Dieter
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Oct 1, 1992
Words:438
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