CAMPAIGN REPORT: EUROPEAN MEDIA - How to become a Euro media brand/Websites, conferences, supplements - brand extensions are set to become big business. Andy Fry focuses on the approaches of seven of Europe’s key international players

By ANDY FRY, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 26 September 1997 12:00AM

EBN European Business News

EBN European Business News



The business television channel, EBN, reaches 24 million homes across

Europe and is itself an example of brand extension. ’The logical

starting point is to look at EBN’s parentage,’ the EBN marketing

director, Peter Clements, explains. ’EBN, Asia’s ABN and the Wall Street

Journal are all brand extensions of Dow Jones.’



EBN taps into Dow Jones market information and WSJ journalistic

expertise in a bid to instil its service with the same values of

veracity and credibility that those brands have built, Clements says.

But the strategy is ’not simply to be a TV version of the WSJ. It is to

create equity in the EBN brand which can be leveraged through other

media.’



Key developments at EBN have included the launch of a Website which,

consistent with the underlying philosophy, ’is a way of adding value to

the TV property without regurgitating the same material. We run

detailed, bespoke information relevant to a business audience.’ One

recent example was the Chancellor Gordon Brown’s speech at the Mansion

House, which was published in full on the Web. The Website is, says

Clements, a significant investment, which, as of this month, is running

audio and video.



In a separate move, EBN has also sponsored an airport lounge at London’s

City airport in conjunction with Visa, a move which ’strikes at the

heart of our core business traveller audience’, Clements says.



According to Clements, ’there are television screens broadcasting EBN,

copies of the WSJ Europe, Dow Jones market products and an office

working area with an EBN Website kiosk. We are only half a mile down a

1,000-mile journey but for me the lounge is the first step in

demonstrating how a cross-media company can add value to consumers.’



Time



As the magazine flagship of the Time-Warner media empire, Time is as

well placed as any brand to take advantage of brand extension

opportunities.



Having said that, Time has a reputation for fiercely guarding the

integrity of its brand. Until last year, all international editorial

activities were handled from New York in an effort to maintain tight

quality control.



Even now, Time refuses to publish local language editions with

co-venture partners.



Last year did, however, see a revolution at Time with the decision to

relocate the control of international editions to five key locations

around the world. Time Atlantic, which sells 750,000 in Europe, the

Middle East and Africa, is now published from London where it has a

staff of 30.



The decentralisation of Time has encouraged a more aggressive approach

to thematic and regional special reports. ’We recently published a

supplement celebrating 50 years of Time in Europe,’ the Time Atlantic

publisher, Will Merritt, says. ’We raised dollars 5.1 million in ad

revenue and it was our best-selling supplement ever despite a 30 per

cent premium on cover price.’



The success of that report has encouraged Time to publish a new report

called Time Discovery, which will be available as a 150-page

perfect-bound magazine in December. Another special report, to be

announced shortly, will deal with the operations of one of Time’s

advertising clients.



One of the key opportunities for brand extension comes in the wake of

Time-Warner’s acquisition of Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN. To

date, the relationship has led to the launch of a weekly news magazine

programme called Impact produced by Time and CNN. ’We are also starting

to use Time journalists on CNN International,’ Merritt says. ’It takes

time. Print and TV journalists have to find ways to work together.’



The European



The European’s primary effort at brand extensions has been electronic

publishing. Currently the paper is available by subscription over ISDN

lines and on the Web.



ISDN came first, largely because of the limitations on Web

publishing.



’When we first looked at this area, the size of file needed to put the

paper on the Web was too big,’ the European’s technology development

manager, Peter Green, says.



Although ISDN is a limited market, it has allowed the European to add

video, voice and animated pictures to the core product, Green says. ’We

did a deal with ITN to use video news clips and also included 30-second

ads from clients like Saab, Ford and Swissair.’



In April, when the technology had advanced sufficiently to make it

practical, the European was launched on the Web at a cost of pounds 52 a

year - the same as subscription over ISDN. ’We felt it would seriously

hit the circulation of the paper if we didn’t charge a subscription,’

Green says.



The Web version of the paper looks like the newsstand version but, like

ISDN, offers additional benefits. A relationship with a company called

ICR means readers can follow up stories by accessing detailed financial

information. Advertisers can, for a fee, supply extra information such

as a brochure for inclusion on the site.



There is also a free element to the European Website where information

is compiled on about 150 European destinations. This is good PR for the

paper, Green says. Already, users can book theatre tickets via the site

and the plan is to extend the service to car hire and hotel

bookings.



Green is also hoping video will be introduced within six months.



Marketing of the electronic European was put on hold pending the recent

tabloid redesign, but Green is hoping to attract 2,000 subscribers by

next spring. He is targeting airlines, hotels, libraries and

embassies.



’pounds 100,000 a year may not sound like a lot but the overheads are

very low and we see strong potential for growth.’



The Economist



The Economist has tampered very little with its core editorial

proposition.



However, it has a well-developed spin-off in the shape of the Economist

Intelligence Unit, which is responsible for both publishing reports and

organising conferences. In addition, a Website is published from New

York.



The EIU has been in operation for 50 years and is a sister company to

the magazine. It provides analysis and forecasts for all aspects of

international business in the shape of printed reports, newsletters,

CD-Roms, electronic feeds, online services and customised briefings.

Information about countries and sectors is gathered from 500 analysts

around the world.



The publications are supplemented by a conference programme, overseen by

a senior vice-president, Sultan Kermally, who says that until 1990,

conferences were purely a PR and marketing function of the magazine.

Since then, it has been a profit centre within the EIU. ’All of the

conferences contribute to the bottom line.’ Although there is a limited

amount of conference activity in New York and Hong Kong, the most

comprehensive programme is handled by London which hosts around 40

events a year.



There are three types of conference, Kermally says: government round

tables, management- and industry-specific conferences, and special

sessions organised with management gurus such as Tom Peters. This last

variety is soon to stop, Kermally says: ’All you are doing is marketing

to the gurus. It is not part of the strategic direction in which we are

heading.’



The government round tables, of which there are between eight and ten a

year, attract 70-200 visitors. Generally they act as meetings between

ministers and the business community.



A similar programme for Eastern Europe is handled from Vienna, which has

acted as a venue for recent conferences on Poland and Croatia.



Around 70 per cent of the London portfolio is management and sector

conferences on areas such as utilities, telecoms and automotives.



Kermally says the topics of the conferences tend to come a bit ahead of

the special reports, thus providing a market test for the level of

interest among the business community.



Forbes



Although Forbes has a 750,000 circulation in the US, its international

impact to date has been minimal.



The international advertising director, Peter Schoff, says the

international circulation is around 9,000. ’We haven’t really promoted

the magazine to the mass market in the way Fortune or Time have done,’

he says. ’We are concentrating on attracting advertising into the

magazine by organising functions and presentations with clients.’



For such a limited overseas circulation, Forbes has a surprisingly high

profile which Schoff attributes to two factors. One is the visibility of

the Forbes family, which includes the former presidential candidate,

Steve Forbes. The other is the impact of globalisation. ’We benefit from

the mobility of the international business community, many of whom have

encountered the magazine in the US.’ This, believes Schoff, will help to

extend the Forbes business internationally.



Brand extension activity so far has been concentrated in the US where

Forbes is in a tough competitive battle with Business Week and

Fortune.



Unsurprisingly, much of the recent effort by the three has gone into

online developments.



According to Schoff there is a lot of international interest in Forbes’

recently upgraded presence on the Internet called the Digital Tool. The

site, created by 20 New York-based staff, includes an index of top

performing companies such as Microsoft and Coca-Cola as well as data on

the turnover and profits of cutting-edge technology companies. There are

also pages on mobile computing, media, IT, digital entertainment,

personal finance and lifestyle. High-profile advertisers, such as BMW

and Intel, have taken positions on the site.



Schoff says, however, that brand extension in Europe will remain on hold

until the company is convinced the timing and product are right.



International Herald Tribune



The International Herald Tribune’s brand extension activities cover a

number of areas. In common with most of its counterparts, the IHT is

online, offering a daily menu of news and features based on the core

title. The IHT Website offers free access and is targeted at the

business community.



It attempts to recoup revenue through sponsorship. IBM, Alcatel, Nokia,

Longines and Intel are some of the more high-profile sponsors to

date.



Beverly Stott Macmillan, the IHT’s advertisement director for the UK and

Africa, says brand extensions are designed to ’promote and support the

high quality of the IHT brand and are revenue generating’. In addition

to the Website, she cites conferences, supplements, event sponsorship

and CD-Rom and book publishing as IHT spin-offs.



Like Time, it supplies educational material to schools as well as

publishing travel guides, atlases and diaries. And like the Financial

Times, the IHT publishes regular supplements - between now and Christmas

it will publish 15 or 20 reports a month on everything from skiing in

Austria to mining in Africa.



One of the IHT’s more ambitious developments has been the creation of a

round-the-year conference programme. According to Stott Macmillan, these

fall into two categories: industry-specific conferences, such as energy

and fund management, and country or regional summits, such as the World

Water summit in Istanbul and the Oil and Money summit in London. These

events attract heads of state that have included FW De Klerk, Lady

Thatcher and Helmut Schmidt. Sponsors have included AT&T, Daewoo,

General Motors, Total and Citibank.



Stott Macmillan says the IHT has itself been a sponsor in an effort to

target its core business readers. For example, it has sponsored a

putting green in Virgin’s Upper Class lounge at Heathrow.



Newsweek International



Newsweek’s international edition sells 1.2 million copies outside the

US. Approximately two-thirds of this total is accounted for by three

English-language editions. However, the company has expanded

aggressively into local language publishing.



’We now have joint ventures publishing in Russian, Spanish, Greek,

Korean and Japanese,’ the Newsweek Atlantic marketing services manager,

Pauline Peters, says, stressing that ’we intend to continue launching

local editions but have to have a partner which can reflect the

integrity of Newsweek’.



In the case of Russia, ’we publish Itogi with a big media operation

called the Most Group, which also runs the NTV television station,’ she

says.



’They generate local material through their own journalists and we

supply a core amount of editorial.’



The Greek language title, Tempo/Newsweek, is the newest addition to the

family and draws on Newsweek for around a third of its editorial. The

rationale for the local-language editions is twofold: greater relevance

to readers and a better targeting opportunity for advertisers. With an

initial circulation of 30,000, advertising for Tempo is sold within

Greece.



Newsweek’s activities in Europe also extend to special issues. ’The last

one we did was to coincide with the handover of Hong Kong to the

Chinese,’ Peters says. The standalone supplements are sold separately on

the newsstand.



Newsweek International relies on some input from the US Newsweek

edition, which sells three million copies. Newsweek US supplements like

You and Your Child are distributed internationally in their original

format.



The US operation also dominates developments on the Web. There is a

global site available via AOL, which publishes an electronic version,

Newsweek US. ’Newsweek International is not on the Web,’ Peters

says.’It’s not an easy thing to achieve and we don’t have the resources

at present to do it properly.’



Newsweek International has, however, created a site on the Web called

the NI Business Resource Centre, prepared by a team in New York. NIBRC

presents selected NI articles and business information. It also provides

bulletin boards for readers to communicate and acts as a link for other

Websites. ’We’ve also developed a service for advertising clients where

we design joint Websites with them,’ Peters says. The best example to

date is the Expressions of New Asia site in conjunction with the

Singapore Tourist Board.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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