Moscow Demands Toilets and Bikes from Ad Contract Bidders

10 April 2008

MOSCOW: Bidders hoping to win control of billboard advertising in Moscow – a list currently including JCDecaux, the Russian arm of Clear Channel and NewsCorp's News Outdoor – will have to provide public amenities including automatic toilets and bicycles under terms set out by the Moscow city government.

Outdoor mogul Jean-Francois Decaux offered $200 million (€127.2m; £101.4m) for the rights to control outdoor advertising in the Russian capital last year – a bid apparently since matched by News Outdoor – as well as offering to install public facilities and provide bicycles, as has been done in Paris.

Gazprom Media, which has no outdoor experience, is also competing for the five-year contract, which actually aims to reduce the number of outdoor advertising sites in Moscow by around 10%, including in the area around the Kremlin.

Vladimir Makarov, chairman of Moscow's Committee for Advertising, Information and Decoration, said: “We're not doing this for Decaux. We're doing this for the competition”.

He also stated that Yuri Luzhkov, the city's mayor, “really likes the idea”, and is to initiate new road construction and revise traffic rules to make the city more amenable for cyclists.

Data sourced from Business Week (online); additional content by WARC staff