Leading Consumer Product Review Publications

Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping is a women’s magazine, which belongs to the media group Hearst Corporation. It brings contributions to women-specific issues such as health, food, Appliances, garden, fashion, beauty and travel. In addition, literary articles and reports on prominent or non-prominent people and their fates. is also the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, which gives a seal of approval for tested products (Good Housekeping Seal of Approval) known.

The magazine was founded on May 2, 1885 by Clark W. Bryan in Holyoke, Massachusetts, United States. [1] 1922 British edition in the same style as released the American model. In 1911, the magazine was sold to Hearst Corporation. At the time it had a circulation of 300,000 copies. 1966 Good Housekeeping reached 5.5 million readers.

Literary contributions were delivered u. A. Of Somerset Maugham, Edwin Markham, Frances Parkinson Keyes, A. J. Cronin, Virginia Woolf and Evelyn Waugh.

1900 Experiment Station, the predecessor of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) was founded. The test kitchen and a test lab for household appliances were 1910 officially established. Since 1909, the magazine gives the cachet of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Products that carry the seal, have a warranty of two years. So far more than 5000 products have received the seal.

In April 1912 a year after William Randolph Hearst purchased the magazine, was Harvey W. Wiley, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Head of the GHRI. The magazine has been used in 1905 for healthy and pure food and so helped the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 topass.

Stiftung Warentest

Stiftung Warentest is a German consumer organization and by far the most well-known foundation in Germany. Due to examine a state contract and funded with tax revenues and compare their employee goods and services from different vendors. It is based on Lützowplatz in Berlin’s Tiergarten district in the district center.

The establishment of an organization for product testing, it was decided after years of discussion and the Policy Statement by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer on October 9, 1962 September 16, 1964 the federal government. Stiftung Warentest was finally on 4 December 1964 the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by Federal Minister Kurt Schmucker, built as an independent public foundation under civil law and as such mainly operates.

In 1966, the first test booklet was sold with a circulation of 210,000 copies In April 1967, there was a massive drop in sales, the number of subscribers fell to 10,000, and as a result of retail sales was in 1968 set. a delivery took place from now on only to subscribers and direct ordering. For the first time the test results were in 1968 with a test quality rating ( “good” to “unsatisfactory”) rated.

In November 1969, a test of bindings was published, it cut three bonds manufacturer Hannes Marker (now owned by Völkl) with “unsatisfactory” from. The company appealed against the findings of the Stiftung Warentest up before the Federal Court and was subject to a long-running lawsuit 1975th

To increase awareness of the test results, the findings of the Stiftung Warentest other newspaper and magazine publishers have been provided free of charge from the 1968th The concept worked, and since 1970 the sale of test magazine was resumed in trade. The awareness was enhanced by spectacular actions, such as in 1973 in an unusual way presented due to the predominantly poor examination results particularly with regard to the safety of strollers editors of test magazine this as living test chart on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin.

After the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, the Stiftung Warentest also examined the structural conditions and the safety of 18 Bundesliga stadiums. Here eight stages were classified as “very serious” about which among other things, the news reported.

1988 sued a manufacturer of compost choppers before the Federal Court against the Stiftung Warentest, as these higher security requirements presented as the usual DIN standard. The Federal Court ruled in favor of the Foundation, as it is also their duty to point out defects in the DIN standards.

Since November 1997, the Stiftung Warentest and magazines are also represented on the Internet at test.de.

After the coalition agreement for the Grand Coalition 2013, the Foundation Privacy should be integrated in the Stiftung Warentest.

Tasks and importance
Tasks focused on the one hand, the comparison of objectively verifiable features of utility value, use value and the environmental impact, on the other hand health consumer information on economic and financial management and environmentally conscious behavior.

Due to the high level of awareness, the foundation has a significant impact on the purchasing behavior of consumers with their reviews. Good reviews of Stiftung Warentest often occupy a prominent place in the product advertising or packaging. On the other hand cause bad reviews again to a slump in sales and damages claims by manufacturers – according to the Foundation average ten times a year, where she has won the most of it and have never been legally sentenced to compensation .

Stiftung Warentest is financed by selling their magazines “test” (circulation: an annual average of 440,000 copies) and “financial test” (219,000), the sale of books, such as the manual medication or aroma-book, and special publications, advertising licenses by test results on the Internet on test.de and funds provided by the Federal Ministry of food and Agriculture. In 2014, revenues amounted to approximately 40.9 million euros. There were also 5.5 million euros by the Federal Ministry.  These are intended as compensation for the fact that no revenue from advertising in its publications may be obtained since these ads could bring the Foundation in a dependent relationship with a provider. In 2012, the Foundation had written for the first time in its history in the red. The loss of 1.2 million euros was above all about through a lower return on the Foundation’s capital.

The foundation denies a function of their results from the public funds, since it generates the bulk of its budget itself.

The monthly magazine Öko-Test is, despite the name similarity, no publication of Stiftung Warentest, but rather a competitor, which the German printing and publishing company is involved.

The Stiftung Warentest organized since 1979 the student competition Youth testing to promote a critical approach to goods, services and advertising to young people.

Test work
Stiftung Warentest conducts annual over 200 comparative product tests and service tests from almost all areas of daily life, which methodology it has developed in Germany. In addition, for heading New on the market new products are examined and published. Since 2002 Action goods deals are weekly mainly been studied by food discounters and updated publications online. Since 2004, aspects of corporate social responsibility (Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR) are taken into account in the investigations at selected test. In the online database “drugs in Test” contains information on over 9000 drugs and 175 applications.

The Stiftung Warentest busy market researchers and scientists who are responsible for market selection and implementation of the tests. Each study projects is statutorily agreed with the Board and discussed in an advisory board with external representatives of consumers, offering economic and neutral experts. The investigations are not carried out by employees of Stiftung Warentest, but outsourced to external, neutral test institutes worldwide. The samples are purchased anonymously in trade and not provided as pre-production models or prototypes of the providers. The objective test results are received by the testing and evaluation by the Stiftung Warentest and before the release to the suppliers to control and opinion. Editors bring the test results in a readable form. A number of verifiers is given the power to monitor the conformity of publications with the test results. In addition to objective measurements and surveys also often subjective judgments of suitable test subjects are included in the evaluation of products, such as the checkpoint “handling”.

The approximately 1,600 products that are bought every year for the tests to come, if they survived the test procedures without flaws, four times a year in Berlin for auction.

To date, the Foundation in 5500 tests examined about 94,000 products plus 2,500 Services (December 2014).

The Stiftung Warentest had a Court of Final Injunction accept part of the chocolate brand Ritter Sport in September, 2014. You must whose “Whole Hazelnuts” -Schokoladentafel no longer classified as “poor” rate based on their assumption / conclusion that the detected in chocolate flavoring piperonal was not produced naturally, although it is excellent as a natural flavor. Also Foundation must not further assert Ritter Sport used chemically produced aromas in its nut chocolate Warentest. Ritter Sport refers to the guarantee certificate of flavors-supplier that we are dealing with a natural flavor.
Test results on the website 
The website of Stiftung Warentest contains all test results of the foundation dating back to the beginning of 1998. For this purpose, current messages (recall, for example, batteries, new court decisions, products, prices and offers, tests of promotional merchandise), extensive online specials, interactive computer and from eight to ten tests per month a free summary. Accessing these detailed results usually costs between 75 cents and 2.50 euros, extensive product databases (for example, car seats, camcorders, digital cameras, televisions, mobile phones, investment funds, insurance, medications, vacuum cleaners, mattresses, interest) cost a maximum of 5 euros.

By 2012, users were in the paid area under “My judgment” weight the weight of each test points according to their needs and to establish as a “individual test winner”. In 2012, this function has been replaced by advanced sorting and filtering functions.
The resulting from the valuation number is assigned a quality category according to the scheme school grades in Germany:

0.5-1.5: very good
1.6-2.5: good
2.6-3.5: satisfactory
3.6-4.5: sufficiently
4,6-5,5: deficient
Product selection
One problem with the product testing is that never all products on the market can be included in a test, but a choice must be made on the basis of market relevance or product features. The offer in the shop is therefore much more complex than in a test release. The Stiftung Warentest tried this fundamental dilemma encounter by involving the one hand, selling common products in a test and the other hand, so-called the Internet Product Finder offers that combine multiple tests of a product category in a database and so often come to several hundred tested models.

Advertise with test results
Since July 2013, the advertising with test results of Stiftung Warentest is chargeable. Prices range from 7000 Euro net for advertising on the product and in media other than cinema or TV for a year, up to 25,000 euros for two years in all media. Before July 2013, only 500 euro fee became due. With the licensing of the Stiftung Warentest, the nonprofits RAL German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification commissioned.

The unincorporated and independent Stiftung Warentest whose terms of reference with the three institutions Board, Board of Directors and Trustees, and has its headquarters in Berlin. The foundation supervision lies with the Berlin Senate Department of Justice.

The board is since 1 January 2012, the sole director Hubertus Primus.  His predecessor was 1995-2011 Werner Brinkmann, whose predecessor was until 1994 Roland Hüttenrauch (1928-2006).

The board is appointed by a seven-member Board of Directors and monitored its activities. The Chairman of the Board has from 1972 to 1984 the politician Lucie Beyer. From 1999 to 2012 has been the chairman of the jurist Karl-Heinz Fezer. Since April 2012, economist Andreas Oehler is from the University of Bamberg Chair.

Additional directors include journalist Volker Angres, the Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, Manfred Hennecke, the social and economic scientist Lucia Reisch and journalism teacher Volker Wolff.

Among the former boards include Gerd Billen, Günter Müchler, Edda Müller, Hans Raffée and Gerhard Scherhorn.

Executive management will be of a 18-member Board of Trustees to advise on all major issues. It consists of one third of stakeholders from industry associations, consumer protection organizations and the expert authorities.

For trustees include the following persons: 

Jörg Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth
Rainer Griesshammer
Herbert Kubicek
Klaus Müller
Lukas Siebenkotten
Reiner Wittkowski
In trustees among others the following persons participated:

Werner Brinkmann (later Board of Stiftung Warentest)
Franz-Georg Rips
Friedrich Wilhelm Schwartz
Operational Structure
The Stiftung Warentest has given a new structure as of 1 January 2012 Design. So there are no longer separate newsrooms and investigation departments, but themes teams that test for magazines and financial test and the website test.de publish.