• Germany's news in English
 

Gottschalk 'cashed in on secret TV advert deals'

Published: 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
Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots
Photo: DPA

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots

The general manager of Turkish Airlines has urged single pilots to marry, after the Germanwings tragedy blamed on a pilot with psychological problems. READ  

Germany and Greece
'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'
Thanasis Glavinas outside one of the German parliament's buildings. Photo: Private

'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'

With the war of words – and cashflows – between Greece and Germany showing no sign of dying down, The Local meets one young Greek who's come to see what the Germans have to teach about running a country successfully. READ  

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations
'Loitz doesn't need any asylum seekers' reads the graffiti. Photo:DPA

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière called on Friday for state governments to speed up deportations of failed asylum applicants, in the latest round in a war of words between the federal government and the states. READ  

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours
Photo: DPA

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has dodged a broadside from company chairman Ferdinand Piech which many thought would unseat him from the troubled car maker. Instead, the steering committee has offered him an extension to his contract. READ  

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola
Tension on the touchline: Guardiola, Schweinsteiger and Müller-Wohlfahrt Photo: DPA

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola

The resignation of iconic club doctor Hans-Willhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt on Thursday evening threatens to unleash internal chaos at Bayern Munich after their Champions League humiliation at the hands of FC Porto. READ  

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline
An InterCity train in Hannover's main train station. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn has until 3 pm on Friday to respond to demands from the Train Drivers' Union (GDL) for a "reasonable provisional result" in talks over pay, conditions and union representation. READ  

Liberals: Data retention unconstitutional
Deputy leader of the Free Democratic Party Wolfgang Kubicki. Photo:DPA

Liberals: Data retention unconstitutional

The deputy leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), Wolfgang Kubicki, called the government's plans to store communications data 'unconstitutional' and said he will fight the proposals in court. READ  

Germany honours Warsaw Uprising fighters
Leszek Zukowski (c) participated in the Warsaw uprising. Photo:DPA

Germany honours Warsaw Uprising fighters

Germany on Thursday awarded its highest honour for the first time to Poles who fought the occupying Nazis in the ill-fated Warsaw Uprising of 1944, one of World War II's bloodiest episodes. READ  

Police grab 'Turkish Communists' in raids
A special police intervention unit (SEK) training in Thuringia. File photo: DPA

Police grab 'Turkish Communists' in raids

State prosecutors in Karlsruhe said on Thursday that police had captured seven members of the Turkish Communist Party (TKP) in raids across southern and western Germany. READ  

Mentally-ill man lost all teeth to new-age dentist
Photo: DPA

Mentally-ill man lost all teeth to new-age dentist

A dentist who claimed to be a 'recognised healer' and pulled every tooth out of a mentally ill patient's mouth lost an appeal against a €20,000 compensation payment in Munich on Wednesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
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

7,251
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd