• 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)

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
Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Lufthansa passengers rush to change their flights at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

Older workers can have extra days off, court says
Photo: Workers in a German shoe factory. Photo: DPA

Older workers can have extra days off, court says

Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. READ  

Expat's family battles for answers four years on
Matthew Fitzpatrick died in 2010 in Mannheim. Photo: Fitzpatrick family

Expat's family battles for answers four years on

In 2010 an Irish computer engineer was found dead in his apartment in Baden-Württemberg. Four years on, his family are still pressing the German justice system for answers. They feel badly let down by police who they say have refused to examine evidence of foul play. READ  

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret
The judges of the Supreme Court announce their decision about weapons exports on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret

The government can keep arms deals secret and only tell the public about them after contracts have been signed, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Just how honest would you have to be to return €7,500 that you found in a box supposed to contain your favourite cheesecake? READ  

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,488
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd