Sebastian Turner

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Sebastian Turner (2007)

Sebastian Turner (born July 4, 1966 in Clausthal-Zellerfeld ) is a German media entrepreneur and publicist . From 2001 to 2008 he was CEO of the advertising agency Scholz & Friends , ran unsuccessfully as a non-party candidate nominated by the CDU , FDP and Free Voters in the mayoral election in Stuttgart in 2012 and has been a partner and publisher of the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel since January 2014 .


Youth and Studies

Turner, the second son of university politician George Turner , founded a school newspaper in Stuttgart in 1981 and a city school newspaper two years later. During his school days he distributed publications by the Junge Union . After graduating from high school, he studied political science , business administration , constitutional , social and economic history at Duke University , Durham / USA , and the University of North Carolina UNC , Chapel Hill / USA . In Bonn, Turner was a research assistant at the Department of Political Science. In 1990 he graduated with a Master of Arts from the Graduate School of Duke University.

Scientific activity

In the early 1990s he worked as a lecturer at the Technical University of Dresden and then at the Berlin University of the Arts . At what is now the University of the Arts, he was initially appointed as a visiting professor and finally as an honorary professor . In 2008 Turner also obtained a Master of Business Administration degree .

Entrepreneurial activity

In 1985 Turner founded the magazine " Medium, Magazin für Journalisten ", which he published until 1995. As a freelance journalist, Turner u. a. active for “ Zeit ”, “ Geo ” and “ Frankfurter Allgemeine ”.

In 1990 Turner founded an advertising agency with Thomas Heilmann , whom he had met in the USA, and another partner in Dresden, which soon became part of the Scholz & Friends network , one of the largest advertising agencies in Europe. Until 2001 he was managing partner of the Scholz & Friends offices in Dresden and Berlin. From 2001 to 2008 he was one of two CEOs of the international Scholz & Friends Group. In 2003, Turner and Heilmann, together with 18 other managers, acquired Scholz & Friends in a management buyout . Until 2011 Turner was a partner in the Scholz & Friends Group and a member of the Supervisory Board of Scholz & Friends Holding Commarco. In 1999, Turner founded the Internet holding Econa AG with Heilmann as a venture capitalist .

Turner was one of the driving forces behind the development and implementation of the " Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft " campaign, a controversial lobbying initiative by business associations. Other well-known campaigns he worked on are the revival of the FAZ claim “ There's always a clever head behind it ” (voted “Campaign of the Century” by a jury of the Spiegel) and the location initiative “ Germany - Land of Ideas ”. He is also considered the originator of the slogan "We can do everything - except standard German".

He also devised a rescue campaign for “ the daily newspaper taz”, developed the concept for the fundraising campaign for the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche Dresden and gave the impetus for the “child-friendly Stuttgart” campaign. Turner was the first German jury chairman for the international Clio creative competition.

Turner and Heilmann have been criticized for violating public procurement regulations in 2006 and 2011 for major tenders issued by the Federal Government's Press and Information Office .

In July 2013 he was appointed to the supervisory board of DvH Medien . On January 1, 2014, he acquired 20 percent of the shares in the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel and became its publisher alongside Giovanni di Lorenzo .

He has held a 25 percent stake in the opinion research institute Civey since 2018 .


From 1998 to 2010 Turner served on the board of directors of the Art Directors Club (ADC). From 2000 to 2004 he was ADC board spokesman. During this time he was also on the board of the Art Directors Club of Europe. Turner is one of the initiators of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, which is supported by the Art Directors Club and an institution of the Steinbeis University Berlin . Its goal is to train people from advertising, marketing, media, entertainment and journalism who are in high positions to become creative executives.

From 2003 to 2009 Turner was a member of the Presidium of the Evangelical Church Congress . He is a member of the German Committee for UNICEF . After leaving the board of the Scholz & Friends Group, the red-red Berlin Senate appointed Turner to the board of the Einstein Foundation Berlin for the Promotion of Science in 2009 . With the support of leading scientific institutions, he initiated the Falling Walls Conference, which invites top international researchers to Berlin on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, under the motto "Which walls will fall next?" discuss upcoming scientific breakthroughs.


Turner has been on the scientific advisory board of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and in the CDU's “Sustainable Growth” working group since 2011 .

At the suggestion of the Stuttgart CDU -Kreisvorsitzenden Stefan Kaufmann , the non-party Turner applied in January 2012 for the nomination of the CDU candidate for which takes place on 7 October 2012 mayoral elections in Stuttgart . On March 17, 2012, the Stuttgart CDU decided for the first time at a member-open party congress between Turner and the CDU politician Andreas Renner who would be the possible successor to Mayor Wolfgang Schuster . Turner was elected as a candidate with 66.7%. In addition to the CDU, the FDP and free voters support Turner's candidacy. In August 2012 the company Ilg Außenwerbung donated a large advertising space to the candidate in downtown Stuttgart. This donation was criticized in the media because of the close business ties between this and other companies and the city. Turner rejected the allegation of a conflict of interest, but presented different versions of the sponsorship, which earned him the criticism that he was unreliable. Turner wanted to be nominated not only as a candidate for the mayor of the Free Voters, the CDU and the FDP, but also by the Pirate Party, but was clearly defeated by his competitor Harald Hermann. In the first ballot, Turner achieved second place with 34.5%, behind Fritz Kuhn , who stood for the Greens , to whom he was ultimately defeated in the second ballot with 45.3% to 52.9%. Turner's results are among the worst that a candidate supported by the CDU could achieve in Stuttgart mayoral elections. In an interview, Turner rated his performance as a success, because "in the ten largest German cities" in the last OB elections, "only one middle-class candidate achieved a better result".


Turner has four children, a son from his first marriage and three children from his second marriage to Heidi Wittlinger .



Turner is the co-author of several publications:

Individual evidence

  1. The Master of Big Money, Retrieved October 17, 2012 ( Memento October 6, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Sebastian Turner, Honorary Professor in the Visual Communication course ( Memento from May 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Medienhaus der Universität der Künste Berlin, accessed on April 19, 2012
  3. Cordiant sells shares , manager magazin online of June 10, 2003, accessed on October 5, 2012.
  4. ^ " Sebastian Turner: an OB candidate with transparency problems ", lobby control from April 20, 2012, accessed on October 5, 2012.
  5. ^ Ralf Nöcker: " Thomas Heilmann - Advertiser for Germany " FAZ from January 20, 2005
  6. Ralf Grauel: Marketing column: We can do everything. Besides advertising ( memento of September 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) in: brand eins 10/2003
  7. Hans-Martin Tillack : " Merkel friend benefits from Merkel PR " , Stern from July 10, 2012.
  8. Christoph Schwennicke : " Merkel & Friends " , Süddeutsche Zeitung of September 16, 2006, online version of May 19, 2010, accessed on October 5, 2012.
  9. ^ DvH Medien: Sebastian Turner becomes a member of the supervisory board ( memento from September 10, 2018 in the Internet Archive ), July 17, 2013
  10. Sebastian Turner becomes co-partner and editor of Tagesspiegel, December 12, 2013
  11. ^ Concern for the reputation of empirical social research, November 28, 2018
  12. Self-description at the ADC ( Memento from September 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  13. - ( Memento of August 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  14. Amory Burchard: Excellent research in Berlin: Green light for the Einstein Foundation . In: Tagesspiegel . December 17, 2008.
  15. Tina Hildebrandt and Heinrich Wefing : Image? Not so important - Interview in DIE ZEIT, August 28, 2008 No. 36
  16. OB candidacy - CDU boss: No pre-determination on Sebastian Turner
  17. Party conference in Degerloch: Turner stands for the CDU for the election of the mayor, accessed on March 17, 2012
  18. One Man, One Brand , Spiegel Online, May 27, 2012
  19. Bargain in black felt ( memento from February 11, 2013 in the web archive ), context: weekly newspaper , August 16, 2012
  20. Not understood , Stuttgarter Zeitung , August 6, 2012
  21. Comment on Sebastian Turner: Not understood Stuttgarter Zeitung , August 6, 2012
  22. Press release Pirate Party April 23, 2012, accessed on August 10, 2012 ( Memento from June 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  23. Focus: Fritz Kuhn in Stuttgart mayor election in front of the Green Mayor candidate hopes for the SPD voters , accessed on October 8, 2012
  24. Victory in runoff election: Grüner Kuhn wins mayor election in Stuttgart. In: Spiegel Online . October 21, 2012, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  25. Past Lord Mayor elections - City of Stuttgart, accessed on December 14, 2013
  26. Andrea Seibel: Sebastian Turner: "Workers choose CDU, educated citizens tend to be green". In: . October 23, 2012, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  27. Stuttgarter Zeitung: Turner has become the father of twins , accessed on September 12, 2012
  28. Sebastian Turner becomes ADC spokesman - new business April 9, 2000, accessed on October 5, 2012.

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