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German companies advertise on right-wing mouthpieces

Germany's enemy image and Prime Minister Tusk as his agent: The PiS party's worldview is broadcast on the Polish private broadcaster TV Republika. The right-wing broadcaster's advertising customers also include German companies.

Martin Adam

Danuta Holecka welcomes to the “real Polish news”. She is a well-known face in Poland. As a news anchor on state television TVP, she represented the reality as the PiS party sees it – with Germany and the EU as enemy powers and the new Prime Minister Donald Tusk as a German agent.

Now Holecka reads the news on TV Republika. And here they all are: the PiS politicians, but above all the stars of TVP. For years they had broadcast the PiS party program in the state media. But the PiS lost the elections and with it its influence over the editorial offices.

Colored reporting and radical comments

Now the private broadcaster TV Republika is taking over the job and maintaining contact between the party and the electorate. The station is partly indirectly owned by the PiS and, since the reform of the state media, has achieved a market share of up to five percent – with a mixture of strongly colored political reporting, teleshopping and sometimes radical comments.

A studio guest explained without being contradicted that there was room for migrants in Poland – in concentration camps set up by the Germans. Despite criticism even from PiS ranks, author Marek Król went on the station shortly afterwards with a similarly crude idea: “You can chip them like little dogs. Of course it would be cheaper to tattoo a number on their left arm. Then you can find them easily.”

Call for a boycott against companies

A number of companies then canceled their advertising contracts with TV Republika, including the Swedish furniture store IKEA. The broadcaster responded with calls for a boycott against what it called the “ideologized” company.

And Przemysław Czarnek, until recently the PiS's education minister, called for support for TV Republika: “Look what they have done to Republika. They are putting the channel against the wall. […] We have another onslaught of wild communists. […] I have a suggestion. We no longer buy from all the companies that no longer advertise on TV Republika just because TV Republika tells the truth. The best you can do is go pee.”

Advertising customers from Germany

But TV Republika is not completely without advertising customers. Companies from Germany, among others, have remained: Tchibo and Lidl, for example. “You do your shopping at Lidl,” the TV Republic audience hears. Shortly before the “German Press Review” – a program specifically about German reporting on Poland, including malicious comments and Fraktur writing.

The enemy image of Germany and German companies as advertising customers – this doesn't seem to bother anyone at TV Republika. And what about advertisers? When asked, Lidl's management said that it advertises on all channels and media companies that can reach customers: “We speak out clearly against any form of hatred, discrimination or exclusion. We are therefore monitoring the station's development very closely. “

Tchibo explains that their advertising contract is about to expire and will not be renewed. Meanwhile, TV Republika is preparing for the upcoming regional elections in Poland – with the usual resentment, also financed from Germany.

Martin Adam, ARD Warsaw, tagesschau, February 15, 2024 10:42 a.m

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