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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - August 2019

The difference between advertising and charity ... and supporting the news

A couple of days ago I came across an article in the Columbia Journalism Review by Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Senator and candidate for President of the United States, who had written a very praising article about the role of the press and how the tech companies need to be challenged and potentially taxed to "fund nonprofit civic-minded media".

Yeah... okay.

We need to have a talk about this, because there are several really big problems here.

I know that there are a lot of people who support this narrative, and who agree with Sanders that the tech companies have somehow used their monopolistic powers to take away advertising that was not rightly theirs (which is not true, but many believe that it is).

As a media analyst I can sympathize with this notion, but this is not the way to tackle it, mostly because it is based on a completely distorted idea that has no basis in reality.

Let's start with the notion that advertising exists to support journalism.

Advertising exists to support brands

I happen to know a lot about advertising from a brand perspective. The reason is that I started my career in the fashion industry.

I went to a fashion design school to become a fashion designer, but I eventually felt more excited about the media, so for 10 years, I worked as a digital media manager for the 2nd largest fashion company in my country.

In this role, I was responsible for every aspect of our digital media and marketing strategy. Every year, I was allocated a budget, and it was then my job to figure out how to spend that in such a way that it provided us with the best result.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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