Ekstra Bladet teams with software company to explain whistleblower law

By Joen Jay Dahl

Ekstra Bladet Brand Stories

Copenhagen, Denmark


It has been breaking news for over a year now with scandal after scandal. Daily, companies and their employees all over the world — Denmark included — suffer from the consequences of bad company conduct.

#MeToo was just the tip of the iceberg, and in the wake of that very movement, various cases ranging from tax fraud and money laundering to downright harassment and violence have plagued workplaces worldwide.

So how can you prevent such cases? And how can D4, a small Danish software company, and Ekstra Bladet Brand Stories help that agenda?

Giving workplaces an important tool

The first step on the road to preventing fraud and harassment, of course, is to discover it. That can be difficult if no one shouts it out loud.

And there is just one big problem: these are rarely topics that are easy to talk about, often due to fear of a boss’ or colleagues’ reaction.

But soon, many Danish workplaces can look forward to getting a tool that allows them to expose the bad — or simply illegal — behaviour. And they will remain completely anonymous.

The EU decided that a law should be adopted in each member state that makes it mandatory to have a so-called “whistleblower” initiative. Already many now have access to a whistleblower scheme, which applies to private companies with more than 249 employees and public workplaces with more than 50 employees.

The new law affects many Danes, and suddenly everyone can make a difference.

A new whistleblower law has been passed in Denmark to catch those who cheat, scam, and harass co-workers or employees. Photo by Shutterstock; courtesy Ekstra Bladet
A new whistleblower law has been passed in Denmark to catch those who cheat, scam, and harass co-workers or employees. Photo by Shutterstock; courtesy Ekstra Bladet

Spreading the word

Ekstrabladet.dk has grown massively as a digital platform in recent years, with “true crime” and “revelations” as two of the most requested editorial topics. The opportunity to underline the importance of the whistleblower initiative has never been greater.

But how do you take something extremely complex — and usually rather boring — and communicate it in such a way that both employers and employees find it relevant? And furthermore, how do you do it on a tabloid media site? The answer was the campaign called Blow Away Complexity. 

We chose a classical native approach but in an easy-to-understand tabloid context. In cooperation with D4, we launched three native premium articles, all with a specific purpose.

Article No. 1 was all about what, explaining the EU directive and the why, (to put an end to economic crime and, in a Danish context, sexual harassment). Denmark was in the heat of a second #MeToo wave at the time, and the EU directive was just as relevant for this purpose. The second article elaborated on who.

We elaborated on the many situations where the whistleblower system could potentially help and explained how it could be relevant for the reader. It is not only sexism and financial fraud that calls for blowing the whistle; possible events that can be reported include:

  • Money laundering
  • Theft
  • Bribery
  • Accounting fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Sexism
  • Equality
  • Nepotism
  • Harassment
  • Bullying
  • Violence

In the third and final article, we told readers how the EU directive will affect their work life. More specifically, how and why Danes should embrace rather than repel the initiative, and of course, how it could potentially improve the important workplace culture.

To top it all off, we made an explainer video for the campaign, which was embedded in every article and visually explained what the EU directive is all about. We also explained how D4 could help with the implementation.

The articles addressed both employees and employers. However, it is the latter who make the decision on how to implement the whistleblower system in the company. So, we added a native display track that targeted decision-makers. In that way, we told them what, who, and how — as well as providing them with a solid solution, the D4 Whistler.

Campaign results

The campaign landed in the sweet spot between breaking news and investigative journalism that is the Ekstra Bladet trademark — and results went through the roof.

The three articles amassed a massive 367,628 article reads across the campaign period, with 4,000+ clicks to D4’s own platforms and numerous high-quality leads derived from the campaign. Add to this an impressive completion rate of 49.9% on the explainer video, and we can confidently say that we reached a large audience.

In addition to performance numbers, we conducted a brand test amongst this audience that showed:

  • A 29% increase in knowledge of the whistleblower initiative.
  • A 74% increase in awareness of the D4 brand.
  • 41% felt enlightened on the initiative.
  • 20% found the articles useful and relevant.

We managed to take full advantage of the ekstrabladet.dk platform and use the relevant and strong news context to provide users with engaging and educational storytelling at eye level.

About Joen Jay Dahl

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