Silly Russians, Ads Are For Everyone

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Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Unilever, PepsiCo and the Coca-Cola Co. had representatives in Russia recently begging the Consulting Council on Foreign Investments not to further reduce the total ad time allowed on TV.

Oh, those sneaky Russians. One might think that by only allowing 12 minutes of TV advertising per hour, they were protecting their children from trans-fats and TMX Elmo or that they were offering their comrades more quality programming. But, oh no -- according to the big companies have been brought to their knees (or to Russia) because the further reduction of ad time to nine minutes per hour will raise the "GRP price to 92,000 rubles on average in 2008, while the annual budget to promote a brand via TV will exceed 200 million rubles. In 2005, the indicators amounted to 35,300 rubles and 70 million rubles to 100 million rubles respectively."

Okay, so maybe that means a spot will be valued at about $3500 and the budgets will exceed $7.5 million -- chump change to P&G et al., though they will probably just saddle their consumers with the cost. Hey, when a bottle of beer in Moscow can run you 54 rubles, you might be willing to watch another minute of advertising at night to keep it that way.