Rupert is laughing, but the joke is on us

National Geographic presents…

Jean-Francois van Boxmeer

It’s a huge honour for us that National Geographic has made this film about Heineken. It provides unique insights in the Heineken beer, brand and company, and shows the great people behind every glass and bottle of Heineken beer. It really illustrates that quality, entrepreneurship and passion are at the center of everything we do. When I recently saw a preview of the documentary, it filled me with pride that I work for Heineken and that I am part of the success of this company.”

— Jean-François van Boxmeer, CEO Heineken N.V.


Who is taking care of the National Geographic brand?

Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp is the majority owner of the National Geographic Channel, seems to have his way with the NGS brand.

Any thoughts, John?

  • Hi Alan,

    What’s wrong with this film is aired on NGC?

    • It’s an advertisement, Ferenc. One long advertisement. And when advertisements become your content, you can kiss your Brand good-bye. … Also: My guess is that Mr. Murdoch doesn’t much care about the long-term viability of the NG brand; his interest is in making money right now. But shouldn’t John Fahey show more concern about what’s happening to National Geographic’s good name?

  • Yes, you’re right, it is a sort of advertisement. But then the whole Ultimate Factories series should be removed from the schedule. However, I don’t think that people will buy more Heineken beer becuase they’ve seen this film. (Let alone Ferraris, John Deere tractors etc).

    The fact is that people like these types of documentaries where they can learn about how these things built.
    Nevertheless, if you ask what has to do these with the traditional image of NG, then my answer is: not much.

    • Part of me says you’re right, Ferenc. People do like this sort of programming; otherwise, NG would have already cancelled the series. And I’m not really arguing for “traditional image” — unless by “traditional” you mean “credible.” …. I don’t expect Mr. Murdoch to care about the long-term credibility of the NGS brand; he bought his stake, and he’ll do what’s necessary to get his ROI. Airing 1-hour advertorials for companies like Heineken, Ferrari, Coca-Cola, et al… and producing programming to help the armed forces of India recruit soldiers… and airing who knows what else — it must be generating lots of cash. But after the Brand has been wrung dry, Murdoch will move on, leaving behind… what exactly?

      Thing is, it’s probably already too late. Who at NGS can stand up & say No to News Corp?

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