David Blecken
May 23, 2018

RTL AdConnect aims to counter duopoly amid Asia expansion

The European media company hopes to help emerging Asian brands make sense of western markets.

Stephane Coruble
Stephane Coruble

RTL AdConnect, a European broadcast and digital media provider, is to extend its services to Asia via Japan and China. The company has so far operated in the region via local agents but will now establish a standalone presence in those markets.

Part of Luxembourg-based RTL Group, RTL AdConnect claims to give advertisers access to more than 160 million consumers via RTL’s numerous platforms. RTL operates in 12 markets across Europe.

Stephane Coruble, RTL AdConnect’s managing director, said the company saw an opportunity to help Asia-Pacific based clients grow in western markets. They currently include brands such as Bridgestone, Haier, Huawei, Lenovo, and Coruble said RTL was keen to discover emerging brands to work with.

“You have to fish where the fish are,” he said. “We want to simplify their access to Europe by giving them information, insights and by being a one-stop shop… The idea is to identify the new brands of tomorrow and make sure we are here to facilitate their expansion.”

As well as offering access to traditional media, RTL is active in the digital space and can produce influencer-based campaigns, pre-roll advertising and facilitate product placement in markets where it is allowed, Coruble said.

Coruble positioned RTL’s recent expansion in the digital space, which it has pursued through a strategy of acquisition, as a “counter proposal” to the Google-Facebook ‘duopoly’. He said it was necessary work to reduce their dominance of the market, while continuing to see them as partners.

While YouTube makes up part of its inventory, Coruble said RTL could guarantee brand safety by specifying where content will run, “not buying blindly in bulk”, as well as helping advertisers navigate the fragmented European media market. He said having a presence in Asia would help provide “coherence” between clients’ headquarters and local market activities.

More generally, Coruble said he expected the Global Media Charter, which the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) unveiled last week, to help tame the media environment. “I think we [the industry] are moving in the right way,” he said. “The brands we are talking to are overwhelmed. Sometimes they are a bit lost. Since they are lost, they go for what’s easy to buy. We need to react.”

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