• Germany edition
 
Gottschalk 'cashed in on secret TV advert deals'
Photo: DPA

Gottschalk 'cashed in on secret TV advert deals'

Published: 14 Jan 2013 08:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Jan 2013 08:26 GMT+01:00

Christoph Gottschalk's firm Dolche Media earned millions from contracts with Daimler-Chrysler and Solarworld which Der Spiegel news magazine said included detailed agreements about how their products were to be promoted on the show.

The mix of chat, celebrities and challenges has long been a staple on the German television landscape, attracting audiences of up to ten million for state TV station ZDF - and for 24 years was hosted by Gottschalk. He left in 2011 after a stunt went wrong leaving a member of the public paralysed.

The presenter and his brother owned Dolche Media which in 2003 signed a three-year contract with Daimler. Der Spiegel said the deal laid out in detail how a special model of the Mercedes A-class car would be introduced, how long the car would be shown and how it would be presented.

Such contracts contradict ZDF's public broadcasting remit - and it said on Sunday it had no information that "surreptitious advertising in connection took place with the presentation of competition prices on Wetten, dass..? a spokesman said - adding that the allegations would be investigated.

Daimler paid €1.25 million plus VAT for the deal and considered it a completely normal procedure, the magazine said. Thomas Gottschalk was also given "access" to a top-class car, according to Daimler. A spokesman for the auto giant said it had depended on Dolche Media to ensure that the advertising and sponsoring guidelines of ZDF were respected.

German solar energy firm Solarworld also paid around €1 million to be cooperation partner with the show. Solarworld boss Frank Asbeck said he was "very satisfied - it was a super programme spot and we had a great advertising effect."

Der Spiegel quoted media and advertising expert Gero Himmelsbach who said details of how a product should be introduced being a contract showed that it was the "banned surreptitious advertising" rather than simply donating a prize. The magazine noted that Audi has been cooperation partner with the show since 2007.

ZDF director Thomas Bellut said such cooperation would not be repeated. "That the brand rights for Wetten, dass..? were externally marketed to this degree was also due to the fact that Gottschalk was so important for the broadcaster at that time."

He said the contract with Audi was due to expire this summer and that then Dolce Media would no longer be responsible for organising the prizes.

"The marketing of the brand rights and the acquisition of game prizes will after Gottschalk, no longer be in one hand," said Bellut.

"It damages the broadcaster if there is even just the appearance that things are not clean," he said.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:28 January 14, 2013 by pepsionice
So the network wrote rules to cover this kind of stuff, and everyone apparently played by the rules....why exactly is this "news"?

People stirred up over advertising sneaking onto the state-run TV? Oh my. If you look around, there's all kinds of things going on between cable TV and state-run TV. The mafia that runs state-run TV has run out of tricks to get more cash from the public, and there's a fair amount of disgruntled young Germans who never view a minute of their stuff, but forced into paying the monthly tax. Within a decade, there will be enough voters to push the issue of stopping the TV tax, and advertising will be the only method that ARD or ZDF survives on.
15:45 January 14, 2013 by raandy
I could care less also but isn't the fees we pay suppose to support public television?

if so it would appear they raked it in on both ends.
21:13 January 18, 2013 by Motorhead
I was too busy looking at Michelle Hunziker to notice.
07:18 January 21, 2013 by insight101
The GEZ dictator just used a giant new trick to get more clients. They now force every household instead of every tv owner. 10 years from now? Why aren't they stopping this joke now? I know a Muslim man from Morocco who told me that this year the Moroccans decided it wasn't fair to force people to have pay for television stations they don't want...Well, at least some countries aren't moving backward...
Today's headlines
Merkel & Obama fire warning to Russia
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama during a meeting at the G7 Summit in July 2014. Photo: DPA

Merkel & Obama fire warning to Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama warned Friday that Russia was triggering a "dangerous escalation" of the conflict in Ukraine due to its military presence and shelling there. READ  

Bayern kick off title defence with win
Bayern's galaxy of stars celebrate after scoring against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday. Photo: DPA

Bayern kick off title defence with win

Reigning German champions Bayern Munich got the new Bundesliga season off to a perfect start with a dramatic 2-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg on Friday. READ  

Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo:Shutterstock

Size does matter in this case, rules judge

A judge has ordered a deliveryman's manhood to be measured after he claimed in court that it was too small for him to be guilty of exhibitionism. READ  

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll
Ukrainian soldiers near Luhansk, Ukraine. Photo: DPA

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll

Almost two thirds of Germans fear Russia plans further land grabs in Ukraine, according to an opinion poll released on the eve of Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the conflict-torn country. READ  

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany
Actress Natascha Ochsenknecht gets doused. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany

German football players, German tennis players, German TV characters and Germany's latest Topmodel winner are on it, but is it actually making a difference? READ  

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen tries on military body armour. Photo: DPA

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip

Amid heated debates over arms for Iraq, the Ukraine crisis, and Germany's foreign military involvement despite its WWII legacy, defence chief Ursula von der Leyen stirred a debate of her own on Friday after a dud World Cup gag. READ  

Expat Dispatches
He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!
He says "I will!" Photo: DPA

He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!

A quick and uncomplicated conversation between a recently engaged couple concluded that the husband-to-be would take on his fiancee's surname. However, no one was more surprised by people's reactions than Australian expat Liv Hambrett. READ  

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus
Photo:DPA

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus

Four white lions born into the Krone Circus during its stop in Magdeburg yesterday find themselves in a Germany reliving a decades-old fight over exotic animals displayed for profit. READ  

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list
A donor heart gets delivered to the DHZB. Photo: DPA

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list

UPDATE: The German Heart Institute of Berlin (DHZB) is under investigation for attempted manslaughter after evidence showed a doctor manipulated patient data to get them a new heart faster. READ  

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks
Julius Bär bank. Photo:DPA

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks

Berlin is suing one of Switzerland's largest banks in its bid to recuperate hundreds of million euros that went missing during the reunification of East and West Germany, the bank said Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
A German journalist shares the story of his US arrest in Ferguson
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,365
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd