City Hall to Tender Advertising Space in Metro's Pedestrian Tunnels

Pedestrian crossings could be attractive for some advertisers, but traffic volume issues can limit the appeal. Andrei Makhonin

Acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has told Moscow's media and advertising department to prepare a tender for commercial advertising spaces in 300 of the Moscow metro's pedestrian tunnels.

The tender could take place next month and would be conducted by Gormost, the state company that owns the metro's underground walkways, said Vladimir Chernikov, the department's acting head.

Gormost declined to comment on its potential involvement in the tender, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

Gormost last spring planned to offer 1,055 commercial advertising spaces in 291 transfer tunnels. The company hoped to raise at least 1.6 billion rubles ($48 million) from the tender, but it was canceled due to a technical error, the report said.

Furthermore, advertisers said that they were not particularly interested in buying commercial space in transfer tunnels at that time.

Russ Outdoor advertising company said that most pedestrian tunnels have either too high or too low human traffic, which reduces their advertising potential.

Potential acts of vandalism could also raise the cost of their maintenance, advertisers said.

But since the aborted tender attempt the law on advertising has been changed to make deals more attractive by letting companies secure commercial advertising spaces for 10 years.

Before the amendment, the maximum length of contract was just five years.

The tender could go ahead this time, but only if prices are reasonable and the right format for the competition is chosen, said Seville Efendiyeva, the general director of advertising agency Newform International.

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