New commercialisation strategy

Thus far, our commercialisation strategy has been geared towards individual publications, but we are now realigning our sales activities to instead focus on various specific topics. Ringier also launched the «Green Circle» initiative in March. Our Managing Director Thomas Passen discussed these and other topics in conversation with Persönlich magazine.

Read the full interview from the May issue of Persönlich magazine here:

Mr Passen, what has the merger between Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz and the Blick Group meant for Ringier Advertising?
The merger between Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz and the Blick Group to form Ringier Medien Switzerland has made cross-publication advertising marketing much easier for Ringier Advertising. In the past, our marketing contracts meant that we had to organise our sales by title groups, whereas from this year onwards we can now base our sales organisation on our clients’ target groups and thus structure it by topic areas such as sport, sustainability, business, luxury and lifestyle. This enables us to create more overarching advertising campaigns and thus better meet our clients’ needs.

Why this focus on topics now?
It is now more important than ever that our clients use their brand to convincingly tackle one or more topics that fit their own particular DNA and communicate this persuasively to their target group. This could be by way of successful storytelling or via sponsoring. And this customer need is precisely what our new positioning now enables us to address more effectively. Topics relate to attitudes, which set us apart and help prevent us from being lost in the flood of communication.

«Corporate social responsibility is a topic that our clients are also increasingly tackling with their communications. The right approach and a high level of credibility are vital.»

Thomas Passen, Managing Director Ringier Advertising

What are the most important communication topics right now?
The topics vary depending on the sector: sport is of course particularly important this year, with the European Football Championships and the Olympic Games. Across all sectors, corporate social responsibility, or ESG (environmental, social & governance), is a topic that our clients are increasingly also tackling with their communications. Many companies are finding this difficult, as they do not really know where to begin. At the moment, anyone not actively working on communications in this area will lose brand appeal. The right approach and a high level of credibility are vital. Given this, for years we at Ringier and Ringier Advertising have been seeking to provide information and increase awareness via numerous different publications, such as «Gruen» magazine from «Schweizer Illustrierte», or «L’illustré» or the Green Channel from This is because we need in-depth information in this field in order to be able to tackle any questions or concerns. Trite claims will no longer hold water. We are now taking things a step further for sustainability with our new «Green Circle» initiative. The same also applies to the field of diversity & inclusion, where Ringier is setting global standards with EqualVoice. The aim here is to offer explanations and tell stories – and as part of a media company, storytelling is rooted in our DNA.

What is the idea behind «Green Circle»?
Ringier has been actively involved in sustainability matters for more than a decade with its brands and online channels, and has previously played a pioneering role in climate and environmental protection with titles such as ‘Gruen’ magazine from Schweizer Illustrierte, or ‘Blick Green’. The recently launched ‘Green Circle’ sustainability initiative is expanding on this commitment and bringing it all under one umbrella. The online platform links business, science and NGOs with users. The common goal is to find sustainable solutions for the future, promote discussion, and prominently offer information about innovations. This goal is paired with a smart content and distribution concept across all digital, social media and print channels in order to increase the relevance, reach and power of sustainability as a topic. Five percent of advertising revenue is also sent to specific sustainable projects.

What is Ringier Advertising doing specifically to help?
This year, we were the first Swiss marketer to conclude a contract with Scope3. Scope3 are helping us to systematically reduce the carbon footprint of our digital advertising. We at Ringier Advertising want to be sustainable for the long term. This means that instead of focusing on compensatory measures, we are taking the steps required to make our own processes more environmentally friendly in the long run.

The marketing strategy is not the only thing new. You have also formed a partnership with pryntad to digitalise the Swiss print market. What added value do you offer advertising clients?
Our partnership represents a milestone for the Swiss print advertising market. pryntad is Germany’s leading booking platform for advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Since April, our advertising clients have also been able to use the pryntad booking platform to easily book all print titles from our portfolio via programmatic advertising. This includes more than 900 magazines, journals and newspapers with a total of around 100 million contacts that can now be booked via a bidding process. Innovation and digital transformation are also vital on the print market, to enable us to provide our clients with the best possible service. We are delighted to be the first marketer in Switzerland to offer this option.

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