The cost of an advertising campaign

How much does an ad in a newspaper cost? Or a TV commercial? Here is a roundup of current prices.

The budget for an advertising campaign varies hugely depending on the objectives. The price of an ad ranges from tens of francs to several hundred thousand francs, depending on the distribution channel chosen and the size of the target audience.

Generally, ad prices are calculated as follows:

  • Cost per thousand (CPM). The rate depends on the number of times the advertising banner is shown on a website.
  • Cost per click (CPC). The rate depends on the number of clicks on the ad.
  • Cost per lead (CPL). The rate depends on the number of leads, such as signing up on a website or for a newsletter.
  • Cost per action (CPA). The rate depends on the number of actions generated by the advertising (sales or other).


The cost of renting a billboard depends on its location and the poster format. Rates per week vary from tens of francs to over CHF 2,000. APG SGA offers discounts depending on the duration and number of locations rented. The company also offers various services such as analyzing the impact of a campaign or producing photos of posters.

Digital advertising

The prices for renting APG SGA digital billboards and projectors depend on the length of the ad, the location and the number of billboards, as well as the time of day at which the ad is shown. For example, you have to spend CHF 7,339 for a 10-second ad shown for a week on two eBoards (landscape format, shown up to 400 times a day) at the Geneva train station from 5.00 am to 1.00 am, and CHF 5,792 to use the six ePanels (portrait format, shown 1,200 times a day) at the same station, under the same conditions.

Newspapers and magazines

In a local newspaper, the prices of an ad can vary from CHF 290 for a sixteenth of a page in black and white in La Gruyère to more than CHF 23,500 for a full color page in 24 Heures. In a magazine or daily newspaper covering several regions, an ad costs from CHF 4,900 for a fifth of a page in Le Temps to more than CHF 68,500 for a full color page in 20 Minutes. All publications offer reductions if the ad is published more than once.


Broadcasting a commercial on a local channel, such as Léman Bleu, can vary from CHF 400 per day (for around nine showings of a 20-second commercial) to CHF 8,400 per week (for 63 showings of a one-minute advertorial). Another example: a commercial shown 634 times on the three national TV channels for a month would cost CHF 385,000, according to the Publisuisse 2014 Media Guide. The production cost of a TV commercial starts at CHF 5,000.


Prices per second can vary from CHF 5 to CHF 27, depending on the time and station chosen. The production cost of a radio commercial starts at CHF 2,000.

Public transportation

A CFF locomotive can feature your advertising on the outside for a year for CHF 240,000. The cost of renting a whole train varies from CHF 120,000 (+ CHF 60,000 in production costs) in the canton of Vaud to CHF 700,000 (+ CHF 220,000 in production costs) in the canton of Zurich. Posters can also be put up inside the train cars for a cost ranging from CHF 13,927 (150 posters in one-eighth of the cars for two weeks) to CHF 142,861 (900 posters in three-quarters of the cars for four weeks).

Buses operating on urban transportation networks can also feature advertising on the outside. Wrapping an entire vehicle in an ad costs between CHF 4,000 (for a month in Chablais) and CHF 185,000 (for 12 months in Bern).


One second of advertising in Swiss cinemas costs around CHF 12. For a 30-second ad shown several times a day, companies should allow, on average, CHF 300,000 per year, according to the Publicitas website. The rate rises to CHF 24 per second for 3D films.

Trade shows

Renting a stand at a trade show usually costs between CHF 50 and CHF 500/m². Bitoubi, a trade show for SMEs held every year in Geneva and Lausanne, for example, offers space ranging from CHF 2,300 for a shared space to CHF 6,120 for 12 m², fitted-out, furnished and lit.


Internet advertising partners such as Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter do not set any minimum or maximum price. Both systems work on cost per click (CPC). For example, a company can ask to pay a maximum of CHF 4 per day and give CHF 0.10 per click. The advertising partners will adjust the frequency of the advertising according to the SME’s budget.

Social networks

Advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn depends on the number of people the company would like to target and the money it is prepared to invest. An SME can choose between payment per click (CPC) or per thousand (CPM). Not investing enough in social networks is counterproductive (ads can be purchased for CHF 0.01). Companies are advised to invest at least CHF 20 per day to get concrete results.

Sources: Association of Swiss Advertising Companies (ASSP) and cited companies, 2015 figures.

Last modification 16.02.2020

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