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Facing competition Publishers oppose advertising alliance

Swisscom plans to contribute technological expertise 

(Keystone)

A planned advertising alliance between the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), Swisscom and Ringier is coming under renewed criticism by private newspaper publishers.

The Swiss Media Association on Tuesday presented a study showing that it would endanger media diversity in Switzerland.

The study is based on 30 interviews with experts and parliamentarians. It found that the venture overly distorts competition within the advertising market and that the SBC's participation is in conflict with its public service mandate. The SBC, which is swissinfo.ch's parent company, declined to comment on the report.

Those interviewed in the study also felt that a public service entity should not use data about the public, as would be necessary in such a venture, for the purpose of advertising.

The association is calling for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Swisscom and Ringier to press pause on the venture until new options can be discussed and all the data that would be gathered on the public is made clear.

Global competition

The three public entities last August announced they wanted to work together in the first quarter of 2016 to offer clients integrated and customised advertising across all media formats. Swisscom plans to contribute its technological expertise to the new company, and all three groups will provide the marketing rights to their media services.

The aim is to strengthen the Swiss advertising market against global competition.

At the time of the project’s launch, Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier, commented “In the past year, Google and Facebook alone achieved a market share in the region of 50% of the digital advertising market in Switzerland.”

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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