IU and Mediaplus Group develop criteria for sustainable media planning

·      Mediaplus agency group, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) and the University of Florida are researching the responsible communication of brands in media environments.

·      Renowned corporate partners from practice and science jointly develop practical model for sustainable media planning and thus for strengthening relevant channel planning.


Munich and Erfurt, 18 May 2022. A credibly sustainable company is characterised by more than just a sustainability report, a photovoltaic system on the roof, or e-charging stations for the vehicle fleet. Consumers expect authenticity from manufacturers in all aspects of sustainability - this also applies to their choice of media environment.

The social contribution of media in terms of sustainability is therefore increasingly coming into focus for branded goods companies - sustainability in the sense of responsible handling of information. However, the sustainability catalogues of the companies hardly take this special aspect of media into account so far. They tend to include criteria such as the ethically correct treatment of employees, ecological dimensions, or relationships with service providers. Nevertheless, these dimensions do not reflect the sustainability of the corresponding environments, for example, which ethical guidelines apply to journalists in the corresponding environment. IU International University of Applied Sciences and Mediaplus Group with its subsidiary Mediascale want to close this gap and develop a valid and objectively verifiable model for the evaluation of media environments.

"Companies have long since ceased to be solely responsible for maximising profits. Ecological, social and economic aspects influence the public perception of companies and their brands. This also includes a thoughtful approach to communication services and the awareness that the media environment also influences brand perception," explains Prof. Dr. Lisa Wolter from IU International University of Applied Sciences, Professor of Online Marketing & Media.

Development of a sustainable media model

A research team at IU surrounding Prof. Dr. Lisa Wolter has been working since April of this year in cooperation with Mediaplus and participants from the media industry, publishing, business and academic partners to develop practical and scientifically sound criteria for sustainable media management. The University of Florida (UF) with the College of Journalism & Communications and the Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology under the direction of Prof. Dr. Sylvia Chan-Olmsted are also involved.

Examining what impact sustainable media environments have on brand relationships is a key focus area of enquiry, particularly addressed by the Consortium on Trust. Launched at UF in 2019, the Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology is a multidisciplinary research initiative that aims to explore strategic questions about media, technology and building trust.

Wolfgang Bscheid, Managing Partner Mediascale, explains: “If we want to provide advertisers with additional evaluation criteria regarding sustainability in the future, then these must above all be transparent, objective and verifiable. Especially when it comes to the journalistic quality of environments, this requires not only expertise but also a lot of intuition. Therefore, we are very happy that with the University of Florida (UF) and the Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology we were able to win two partners for the project who have both years of experience and the best connections to all relevant market partners and institutions. In addition, we are making sure that the very important international perspective is not neglected in addition to the specific conditions in the national communication market.”

The project, which is scheduled to run for two years, comprises several larger sub-projects. The first step is to clarify questions such as:

- Is media planning with sustainable environments preferable to traditional planning strategies (e.g. according to reach, classic target group attainment, or CPM logic)? And is there empirical evidence for this?

- Which media rely on ethical guidelines and what do these guidelines look like?

- Does sustainable media lead to more impact for advertising brands?

- How is the topic implemented in different media such as print, TV, digital or social media?

- Is there a link between content and the advertised brand?

- What approaches can be identified in the international market?

A subsequent sub-project involves an international survey of marketing and media experts on their current and future views.

New degree programme "Sustainable Management" from June 2022

IU International University is meeting the great demand for training in sustainability in business and the economy with, among other things, a new master’s programme in "Sustainable Management", which will start in June 2022. The trained experts will be able to integrate sustainability as a business success factor in all important business processes. More information on the new distance learning programme taught in German language, at:


With over 85,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognised educational institution brings together more than 200 bachelor's and master’s degree programmes under its roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between on-campus study, dual study, distance learning and flexible combination models and thus shape their studies in a self-determined way. In addition, IU facilitates continuing education and promotes the idea of lifelong learning. The university's goal is to make education possible for as many people as possible. IU began operations in 2000 and is now represented in 28 German cities. It cooperates with over 10,000 companies and actively supports them in employee development. Its partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at:


The Mediaplus Group was founded in 1983 as a Serviceplan subsidiary and is today the largest independent and partner-managed media agency in Europe. With 44 locations and partnerships worldwide, Mediaplus is one of the leading independent media agencies with strong presences also in Asia, North and South America. As an innovation agency for measurable brand success, Mediaplus relies on an interplay of insights, data, media and creation. An integrated way of working, increasing automation and the use of advanced, data-driven technologies ensure the efficiency of campaigns at Mediaplus. With first place in the "Recma Qualipack Report", Mediaplus is qualitatively the best agency in Germany and the best independent in the world. Three times in a row - 2022, 2021 and 2020 - Mediaplus was named "Media Agency of the Year" at the "German Media Awards" and was "Agency of the Year" four times at the Festival of Media Global. Further information at

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