Axel Springer and Funke join large national ad alliance

Two ad alliances, together representing four of Germany’s largest media companies, have joined forces with the aim of countering the dominance of tech platforms.

by Michael Spinner-Just | May 28, 2019

Media Impact, the joint marketing organisation of Axel Springer and Funke Mediengruppe, and Ad Alliance, which unites the brands of RTL Group, Gruner + Jahr and Spiegel Media, together form the largest digital marketing offering in Germany in terms of reach and quality, according to several sources.

statement from Axel Springer said the new consortium will reach about 50 million users per month (source: agof daily digital facts, April 2019). By means of comparison, Digiday said Facebook has 40 million monthly unique users in Germany, according to Statista. The country has a population of approximately 83 million people.

Starting in September, Ad Alliance will negotiate framework agreements with media agencies and individual direct customers for digital media brands marketed by Media Impact on behalf of and on account of Media Impact. According to Axel Springer’s press release, “The print portfolio of Axel Springer and Funke Mediengruppe will continue to be marketed by Media Impact. In addition, Media Impact will continue to sell the digital and print inventory of Axel Springer and Funke Mediengruppe with an independent sales unit in direct customer contact.”

Depending on the uptake of media agencies and advertisers, locking in rates for a full year, the idea is to then build out the technical infrastructure to have a ready-for-market product by 2020. Media Impact will have about 20-50 staff who be working on the new alliance, according to Digiday.

The digital portfolio of Ad Alliance includes all brands of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland as well as Gruner + Jahr and Spiegel Media. Together with the wide-reaching digital brands of Media Impact such as Bild, Welt, Auto Bild, Computer Bild, Sport Bild, musikexpress, Rolling Stone, Business Insider, Transfermarkt, Hörzu, Bild der Frau, Idealo and kaufda as well as clients such as Sport1, the digital marketing offer is unparalleled in Germany, according to Springer.

110 brands, including Bild Online

All together, the new alliance represents 110 brands, including 38 belonging to Springer and Funke, according to WuV, a German marketing trade journal. Bild Online is a heavyweight member, it said, being the digital offer with the largest reach in the country.

Carsten Schwecke, Chairman of Media Impact’s Management Board, says, “The successful development of Media Impact has shown to us that publishing cooperations can be an essential component for a promising and competitive marketing business. We are now taking the next step and creating the conditions to grow even stronger in the digital sector and to counter the increasing international competition with force. In collaboration with Ad Alliance, we are creating a highly attractive offer for advertisers in Germany.”

Matthias Dang, Managing Director of Ad Alliance, adds, “In the third year of Ad Alliance, with Media Impact we are very glad to welcome another partner in our group. Not only will the success story of our alliance continue but we are also delivering on our promise of continuous development. The results to date speak for themselves.”

Munich-based competitor Burda, publisher of Focus and other brands, welcomed the news: “Alliances are a counterweight to the dominant platforms and are therefore important for the future of our industry,” a Burda spokesperson told Meedia, a German media platform.

Meedia went on to cite unnamed marketing specialists as saying the consolidation in ad marketing is overdue, especially in light of the predicted slumping German economy.

A WAN-IFRA Report, “Publisher Ad Alliances – Why they make sense and how they work,” was published last year and can be downloaded free of charge by WAN-IFRA Members and purchased by non-members.

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