Here in New York, advertisers will toss up huge billboards on every flat surface, zoning laws be damned (see here for nice chart illustrating how much the police care about illegal advertising). Well that's pretty embarrassing for us, because they're even cracking down on the insane proliferation of billboards in Moscow. In Russia! Is America poised to take back the international "Rampant and Rapacious Uncontrolled Advertising In Service of Almighty Capitalism" title? Well, only if the economic crisis doesn't force Moscow to quit taking down billboards before it starts. It's a nice idea, but we don't want to cut into revenue here!
Ad-industry officials generally praise the city's strategy of phasing in the restrictions and compensating them for any losses on unexpired contracts with their billboard clients. They also hope the removals won't crimp their market too much. Analysts estimate the Moscow outdoor-ad market, whose value has more than doubled over the past decade, at about $7.9 billion, up 7.5% so far this year.Crikey, that's a lot of money for billboards. The Reds are trying to clear the area around the Kremlin, but, you know, there's a crisis and all, and they don't appear to have gotten too far yet:
Just a few steps from the Kremlin and the brightly colored domes of St. Basil's Cathedral stands the 'M-Wall,' a more than 1,300-foot-long ad adorned with full-size models of BMW AG's cars. The M-Wall, which surrounds the former site of the demolished Rossiya Hotel, is bigger than Rome's Coliseum in surface area, the wall's creators say.America will beat this even if we have to cover every square inch of the US Capitol dome with McDonald's logos. [WSJ; Pic via]