• 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
Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
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

3,527
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd