Unicum (group of companies)

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The Unicum group of companies based in Bochum publishes advertising-financed media for schoolchildren , students and young professionals and operates advertising in these groups. In terms of its orientation, the Unicum group of companies thus resembles Audimax , which also publishes advertising-financed magazines for students throughout Germany.


Unicum was designed in the early 1980s by a group of students from Bochum led by Manfred Baldschus, Joachim Berger and Hermann Josef Billstein to differentiate it from the student magazines that were then distributed at German universities , which focused on alternative models of society. In contrast, the new magazine should focus on the situation of the students. The first edition appeared in November 1983 with a print run of 50,000 copies in North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1984 the publication area was extended to the entire FRG.

In cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Family and Youth , Unicum-Verlag published the magazine “Chance” in early 1990, which was aimed at young adults in what was then the GDR . After reunification , the magazine was converted into a school magazine for all of Germany.

Today, in addition to the publishing house (UNICUM GmbH & Co. KG), the group also includes companies for sales promotion , merchandising and events . The company is wholly or partially owned by Baldschus Beteiligungs GmbH. The group of companies employs around 60 people.


Unicum is an ad-supported magazine for students with a monthly circulation of 400,000 copies distributed free of charge. In addition, the publisher publishes advertising-financed magazines for prospective high school graduates and graduates . Unicum operates a website on the Internet with an online community , contact exchanges , job exchanges and advice content .

The Unicum awards the title “Professor of the Year” in several categories every year.

surreptitious advertising

Unicum was publicly reprimanded several times in 2004 by the German Press Council for violating the press code through surreptitious advertising . Under the title “Netzhits von Musicload”, Unicum reported on the download of music titles from T-Online and in the last sentence animated the readers with “So nothing like off to www.musicload.de”. In addition, the editorial team published an article "Students prove taste", in which Unicum and Coca-Cola presented the "ultimate taste test". The press council reprimanded this as "undisguised advertising" and "clearly promotional statement that crossed the line to surreptitious advertising". The magazine “Unicum Beruf” distributed by the publisher was also criticized in 2009 because of an inadequate separation between advertising and journalistic contributions. In an interview that was carried out in cooperation with the German Atomic Forum e. V. emerged, advertised the advantages of a professional career in the field of nuclear energy.

In its current advertising sales documents, the publisher offers advertising in an editorial design. It is optionally referred to as " Advertorial ", "Editorial Cooperation", "Your Cover Story", "Your Company Portrait", "Brief Profile" or "Text Advertisement" and marked with the word "Advertisement" in accordance with the State Press Act of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Individual evidence

  1. From a student publisher to a multimedia group of companies - we can now look back on more than 30 years of UNICUM
  2. Unicum group of companies
  3. ^ Chronicle of the Rügen , German Press Council, current listing
  4. Advertising and editing must be clearly separated German Press Council, press release September 24, 2004
  5. ^ Surreptitious advertising in university magazines , Die Tageszeitung, February 9, 2010
  6. Unicum Mediadaten 2015 ( Memento from February 13, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF), page 15 and Unicum Personalmarketing Mediadaten 2015 ( Memento from April 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF), Pages 7, 8, 11, 15, 17, 18, 28 and 29

Web links