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
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.’
As the magazine flagship of the Time-Warner media empire, Time is as
well placed as any brand to take advantage of brand extension
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
Even now, Time refuses to publish local language editions with
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
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’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
’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,’
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
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
’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 has tampered very little with its core editorial
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
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
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.
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
Unsurprisingly, much of the recent effort by the three has gone into
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
It attempts to recoup revenue through sponsorship. IBM, Alcatel, Nokia,
Longines and Intel are some of the more high-profile sponsors to
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’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
’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
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
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
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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