REPORT ON GERMANY: Germany should lead - The rest of Europe should wake up to Germany’s potential as a media centre, Werner Beitz says

Since I started in the media business at the beginning of the 80s, nothing has changed significantly as far as the location of lead agencies is concerned. The lead functions of international media agency networks are located outside Germany. Everybody knows the capital city of media in Europe - London - and also the second most important place - Paris. But who thinks about Dusseldorf, Hamburg or Frankfurt?

Since I started in the media business at the beginning of the 80s,

nothing has changed significantly as far as the location of lead

agencies is concerned. The lead functions of international media agency

networks are located outside Germany. Everybody knows the capital city

of media in Europe - London - and also the second most important place -

Paris. But who thinks about Dusseldorf, Hamburg or Frankfurt?



I think it’s time to say: ’Welcome Germany.’ There are many arguments

why Germany should play a more important role in the media business.

These are some of the most important.



1. Germany is the biggest European market with a population of more than

80 million people.



(Only Russia has more inhabitants but it’s still in the phase of

economic development.) Because of its big potential and serious buying

power, Germany is the most important market in Europe for almost all

international companies.



2. Germany is the strongest economy in the whole of Europe. For example,

in 1997 the GDP in Germany was nearly 50 per cent higher than the GDP of

France, which was ranked second.



3. Already 50 per cent of the biggest top 20 European companies (in

terms of turnover) are German companies. Their headquarters are based

across the country and these companies are very good examples of how

it’s possible to co-ordinate big business (even in Germany ...).



4. Germany is also the home of several important media owners with

international operations. Bertelsmann, CLT-Ufa, the Kirch group and Axel

Springer are a few examples. German agencies are on the doorstep for

these companies.



5. We have the most developed TV market in terms of the number of free

channels and the technical advances of our operations. Due to the

detailed official ratecard system and the fact that there is no

safety-net in the form of guarantees, Germany also has the best

experience worldwide in terms of spot placement - although not every

agency has this capability.



6. In other media, as much as in TV, the German market has the biggest

supply across Europe:



nearly 300,000 poster sites, 4,000 cinemas, more than 200 radio

stations, 328 daily newspapers, 27 weekly newspapers, more than 800

magazines and nearly 1,100 trade magazines. This media landscape

requires a detailed knowledge of planning and buying in all media

areas.



7. The comparison of the media expenditures across Europe reflects the

total supply of media and the importance of single markets. Germany is

also the number one country in terms of media expenditure in Europe,

followed by the UK.



8. We have the top research knowhow, especially in TV. In all developed

countries, TV measurement is based on Peoplemeter systems. I’m convinced

that the most sophisticated system and the hardest research currency

exists in Germany. In discussions with media people from other western

European countries, I’m often confronted with the suggestion that we

should modify our system. They believe that their own systems, which may

include variables such as visitors watching TV, are better. But it’s

hard to believe. This was important in the 50s and 60s - the ’good old

days’ of TV when there were fewer TV sets - but not today. Therefore -

and not only in the case of TV - Germany, with its more logical research

systems, provides the best examples of how to measure the real

performance of media.



Last year, two dozen of Germany’s top managers wrote in a positioning

statement that hardly another country in the world has such conditions

to enable it to stand up to the challenges of globalisation. This is

correct and also valid for the business of media agencies.



One thing that’s essential is self-confidence. German agencies operate

in the biggest European market with a high standard of professionalism

and sophistication. They must demonstrate these advantages more often in

front of international clients and within their own international agency

networks.



Then they will get the opportunity to prove their ability to lead

international businesses. It’s a long and hard way, but also a very

challenging one.



I said at the start that nothing has changed for a long time - that’s

not strictly true. MediaCom Dusseldorf, as part of the worldwide

operating MediaCom agency network, shows that German agencies can

deliver an important contribution to the whole process within an

international network.



I look forward to seeing what happens in the European agency landscape

over the next decade. Will German agencies be able to build up or

strengthen their international position?



Werner Beitz is the managing director of MediaCom Dusseldorf.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).