Anger rises in publishing after the authorization of advertising for the book on television

The expansion of television advertising to the book sector arouses an almost unanimous outcry among publishers. The decree which authorizes this experiment since April 6, for a period of twenty-four months, worried to the point that the National Publishing Union (SNE), which brings together 720 members, officially requested its “repeal” Wednesday April 17.

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The union regrets that this measure in no way reflects a “consultation with book professionals”. During the meetings at the Ministry of Culture, all the representatives of publishing could not have been more clearly opposed to this hypothesis. Hence their surprise and dismay at having been presented with a fait accompli.

The SNE fears a weakening of the sector, as well as an impoverishment of literary creation. And above all, a strengthening of the “best-selling” of the market, that is to say a very strong concentration of sales on a handful of the most popular titles. For the SNE, this measure “is likely to unbalance a sector which is valuable due to its great diversity”. The SNE deplores that this experimental phase does not “the object of no supervision” and not “is accompanied by any commitment to increased promotion of books and reading on television”.

Irony of fate

Already, Antoine Gallimard, the CEO of the Madrigall group (Gallimard, Flammarion, etc.) had sounded the charge on Saturday April 13 on France Inter. “ You put three or four books in front, while forty, behind, will not be entitled to any information! It is not fair “, he said. Following in his footsteps, Denis Olivennes, president of Editis (Plon, Bouquins, 10/18…) announced on the same radio that he fears that television advertising could “accelerate the concentration of the market on its biggest sellers, to the detriment of diversity, because only the best-sellers can bear the costs of advertising on television”.

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Ironically, by openly positioning itself against the opinions of the boss of their parent company, Editis, XO editions remain the only ones, for the moment, to have benefited from this new regulation. A week after the publication of the decree, they broadcast advertising spots on BFM-TV, intended to promote a thriller by Bernard Minier, The Erased.

This first is in no way a surprise, since the founder of this house, Bernard Fixot, has long established himself as the inventor of book advertising on the radio – it is thanks to this method that he brought sales of Guillaume Musso’s books to the top. He is also one of the only ones in the publishing world to have always campaigned for an expansion of books into television advertising.

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